Source: (2004) Paper prepared for Seminar March 2004 in Brasilia.

Over the last 15 years or so, penal practices have been characterized by two contrasting, and contradictory, trends. On the one hand, most jurisdictions continue to rely on the use of formal court processes and have dramatically increased the number of offenders subject to conventional sanctions such as imprisonment and supervision in the community. On the other hand, some jurisdictions have begun to develop very different ways of responding to offending which involve meaningful participation by victims and offenders in the decision-making process, and often produce very different types of sanctions - in brief, restorative justice processes and practices. New Zealand serves as an example of this second way. There restorative justice processes can be used both as an alternative to court and as an aid for judges prior to sentence. One of the challenges for us at these seminar is to discuss how best to advance these restorative processes and practices in Brazil. (excerpt)

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