Contrary to the implied suggestion in many restorative justice critiques of the status quo, the chief strength of restorative justice interventions does not lie in their rejection of punitiveness and retribution, but the empowerment of communities of care who are the most likely to respond effectively to both the causes and the consequences of criminal wrongdoing. Thus, it is the empowerment of affected stakeholders on both sides that is the crucial feature of restorative justice, and the feature whose absence causes both conventional and restorative justice to fail.
According to traditional wisdom, determining the just and fair (or the best and most appropriate) response to a criminal act is best left to trained and specialised criminal justice professionals. Restorative justice philosophy holds the opposite view, that such decisions are best made by the principal parties (victim and offender) themselves, and preferably in dialogue with one another in the presence of their respective communities of care and support (typically family and friends). Thus, the fundamental difference between conventional and restorative justice can be most usefully articulated by reference to this one concept: empowerment. That is, empowerment of the key stakeholders in the responses of the criminal justice system to wrongful and criminal acts so that the matter is resolved in ways that are meaningful and right for them.
The growing prominence of restorative justice interventions necessitates a reconceptualization of criminal justice in terms of a new paradigm. The most plausible candidate for this is an empowerment paradigm of justice. However, an overarching theory of criminal justice in these terms needs to be complemented by more fine-grained theoretical explanations of how and why conventional and alternative criminal justice interventions work the way they do. The paper discusses four such explanations: Reversal of moral disengagement; Social and moral development; Emotional and moral psychological healing; Reintegrative shaming.
Cavanagh explores the relationship between restorative justice and the common good. His argument is that true morality in society requires a focus on the common good, not merely on tolerance. Only pursuit of the common good makes it possible to address moral issues such as economic deprivation, unemployment, and drug/alcohol related violence. Peace is at the center of the common good, and forgiveness and reconciliation are at the root of peace. The values and practices of restorative justice (taking responsibility, forgiveness, reconciliation) are means to achieve peace through the healing of relationships in communities.
Believe it or not, part of the joy of working with the children in my classroom is working together with them at issues of discipline. Just about every situation that is a conflict of some sort can be used as a teachable moment in our life together.
I have hope that some day restorative justice will be what most people think of when they think of justice. Maybe some day we will have to explain to our children and grandchildren that there was a time when most people thought that justice was retributive justice.
When I use the word "peace" in this article I am thinking of the Hebrew word Shalom. Peace-shalom means much more than the absnece of war. It it the kind of peace that exists because there are "right relationships," not because each is afraid to strike first because of what the other might be able to do to harm them.
Peace-shalom, Love-agape, Forgiveness, Confession, Atonement, Repentance and Trust are key words in the Peacemaking Model. They are all words that are used in the faith and secular worlds and with a variety of meanings. What I will do in this article is to use stories and teachings from my faith tradition, to help clarify my understanding of each.
Shame management and bullying Ahmed, E. (2002, 7-12th July). [pdf] Paper presented at the XXV International Congress of Applied Psychology on 'Making Life Better for All: A Challenge for Applied Psychology' organised by the Singapore Psychological Society and the National University of Singapore, Singapore.
This study focuses on the prediction of self-initiated bullying from family, school, personality, and shame management variables. Reintegrative shaming theory provided a theoretical framework for data gathered from students and their parents. To test the importance of shame management in relation to bullying, the MOSS-SASD instrument (Management of Shame State–Shame Acknowledgment and Shame Displacement) was developed. Bullying was related to a child’s unacknowledged shame and its displacement to other-directed blame and anger. The results of path analysis indicated that shame management partially mediated the effects of family, school, and personality variables on bullying. The implications of these findings for creating a safer school environment are discussed.
It is time to re-evaluate what it is we need for true justice to flow throughout this land. We are called by God to be the stewards of creation, to protect the land and enhance the dignity of all its people. Crime traditionally escalates most where social injustice prevails. There remains much social injustice in New Zealand. In particular, there is a desperate need to provide affordable housing, adequate benefits, good health care and more employment. Deprivation in these areas forms a type of structural violence against the poor who are often left inadequately fed and in poor health, with little by way of shelter, money or hope. These are all areas the government should tackle as a priority.
Restorative justice has been emerging within the justice systems of a number of countries in the last decade. The key element of restorative justice, he asserts, is the pursuit of justice practices that, as far as possible, rebuild relationships broken by crime rather than damage them further. On this basis, Sarre explores religious roots or connections of restorative justice in historical terms. Additionally he develops some of the possibilities for churches in seeking to enhance restorative justice principles.
In this paper, some newer research in psychology is examined for the potential contribution it could make to our understandings in restorative practices. The paper begins with a very brief scan of the existing Affect Theory and the Compass of Shame, to set the context before exploring the new research and then attempting to tie together the newer insights with theexisting thinking. Potential implications of this newly-integrated work for how school communities might best encourage the proper moral development of their students are also briefly explored.