Source: (2009) Dissertation submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Arizona State University,

Restorative Justice is a set of normative principles. These principles can be practiced in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings. When these principles work, it is democracy at its best. Restorative Justice has been conceptualized by a vast number of scholars and practitioners in and outside the area of conflict resolution. Most see Restorative Justice as providing the possibility of bringing people together to restore the harmony of a community. This dissertation utilized field work and content analysis to track down and understand the consistency and implementation process of Restorative Justice principles in the community and in the courts of south Brazil. Interviews, observations, and agreements were studied to determine how Restorative Justice principles were being used in settings of the community and the courts. Also, inquiries were made as to whether Restorative Justice is being co-opted by the courts as another strategy to carry out official duties. The results of this research indicate that Restorative Justice brings a new degree of justice and humanity into the community as private parties seek to mend what has been broken without intervention of the law and the courts. Programs based on the principles of Restorative Justice bring work, education, and hope to the youth in the favelas of Brazilian cities, and methods to address the root causes of conflict. It was also determined that a recriprocal partnership, co-produced by a political-educational approach, must be created between the community and the court to further implement Restorative Justice. (Abstract taken from paper)