Source: (2003) Utah Law Review. 2003(1): 439-469.University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Downloaded 13 October 2003.

Darren Bush in this paper approaches issues of restorative justice from the perspective of the school of thought known as “law and economics.â€? Law and economics scholars assert that humans tend to act rationally. With respect to crime, such scholars believe that individuals commit crime because the benefits of crime exceed the costs. This leads to an economic analysis of crime in which the costs of penalties and deterrence are weighed in relation to the costs of crime itself. In this scheme, the penalties that economists seek to impose appear to be fundamentally punitive. In contrast, restorative justice rejects retribution and punishment as basic policy for criminal justice. Bush states that on the face of it law and economics scholars should view restorative justice with skepticism. However, he goes on to argue that law and economics scholars should give restorative justice a mixed review: restorative justice does not adequately compensate victims and may not reduce crime rates; yet it does improve upon the current system because it does not create additional costs to society, does appear to reduce recidivism more, and may hold out hope for deterrence through its compensatory emphasis.


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