Source: (2008) Washington University Global Studies Law Review. 7(3):661-681.

This Note explores whether incorporating a restorative justice philosophy can begin to break the systemic racism that infiltrates the U.S. criminal justice system. Specifically, this Note looks at Canada’s decision to implement a form of affirmative action that incorporates restorative justice in its sentencing procedures. Part I further details racially disparate sentencing in both the United States and Canada. Part II introduces the theory of restorative justice, details how restorative justice is being integrated in both countries and examines how restorative justice addresses racially disproportionate sentencing in Canada. Part III discusses why Canada’s attempt to use restorative justice legislation to curb disparate prison sentencing practices against minorities should not be applied in the United States at present. Finally, this Note suggests that despite all this, it is important for the United States to push forward in restorative justice programs. (excerpt)

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