Source: (2004) In Peter Sedgwick, ed., Rethinking sentencing: a contribution to the debate. A report from the Mission and Public Affairs Council. London: Church House Publishing. Pp. 68-76. Downloaded 16 September 2005.

The case for making restoration the primary objective of a criminal justice system is so obvious that it is perhaps important to include in this collection some suggestions about the obstacles that prevent people from accepting it, and how they can be overcome. Even such moving, and widely publicized, approaches to criminal acts as the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa are often described as ‘idealistic’ (in a clearly pejorative sense). That is, they are thought to belong to a world that is in principle unrealizable. The real or imagined failures of such processes are often recounted, it would appear, for the purpose of providing comfort to those who would wish to remain clear that ‘in the real world’ such an approach will never work. (excerpt)

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