Restorative justice is the idea that harm caused by a crime can be repaired (Wallis, 2007) and that the victim and community can be restored to how it was previously, rather than resorting to punishing the offender (Liebmann, 2007). At the moment, the criminal justice system is based on retributive justice over restorative justice; this is where a lawbreaker receives punishment in proportion to the crime inflicted (Milovanovic, 2007) and is given back what they have given the victim: harm (Koneke, 2011). Restorative justice has been seen as a potentially transformative social practice that could see the end for the need for harsh criminal punishments and incarceration (Menkel-Meadow, 2007). This could change public debate about crime and justice completely because the idea behind crime and justice is beginning to move further away from the traditional, retributive system that we are so accustomed too, and towards a more liberal, restorative justice system that focuses on repairing the harm done by the offender.
Restorative justice can be seen as a very beneficial thing because of the good it does to the community. It is felt that ordinary people who are directly affected by the wrongdoing should take an active part in deciding what should happen in the aftermath of the offence (Zernova, 2007) because it enables victims to meet with the offender and discuss what happened. This thereby requires the offender to be held accountable for the harm they have caused and that their accountability involves understanding and acknowledging the harm and taking steps to make things right (Zehr, 1990). Williams (2004) further argues that restorative justice is intended to represent the ideal that offenders sh...
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Umbreit, M. (2001) The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation: An Essential Guide to Practice and research California: Jossey-Bass In., Publishers
Umbreit, M. and Coates, R. (1992) Victim offender mediation: an analysis of programs in four states of the US Minneapolis: Minnesota Citizens’ Council on Crime & Justice
Umbreit, M., Coates, R. and Roberts, A. (1997) Cross-national impact of Restorative Justice through mediation and dialogue ICCA Journal on Community Corrections 8:2 pages 46–50.
Wallis, B. (2007) Guide to restorative justice. London: Jessica Kingley Publishers
Williams, K. (2004) ‘Victims, survivors and victimiology’ in Textbook on Criminology. New York: Oxford University Press
Zehr, H. (2002) The Little Book of Restorative Justice. USA: Good books
Zernova, M. (2007) Restorative justice: ideals and realities. Oxon; Ashgate Publishing
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