Source: (2005) Paper presented at "The Next Step: Building Restorative Communities", IIRP 7th International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, 9-11 November, Manchester, England, UK. Downloaded 9 December 2005.

As proponents of restorative justice, we tend to believe that these processes should be integrated into the criminal justice system because they work, they make sense and they address the real needs of the people. To us, the justification for using restorative practices in almost self evident , However, the truth is that most criminal justice practitioners are extremely skeptical about these processes, and are concerned with their feasibility, effectiveness and theoretical justification. If we want the justice system to employ restorative practices we must address these concerns. In this paper I will first present evidence that shows the potential of the restorative practices to better address victim’s interests, the way in which the criminal justice system is perceived and the effectiveness of this system. Them I will demonstrate the theoretical compatibility of restorative practices with the two main theories of punishment: retribution and deterrence, hence providing a theoretical justification for the use of restorative processes. (excerpt)

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