Source: (2003) In, Elmar Weitekamp and Hans-Jurgen Kerner, eds. Restorative Justice in Context: International Practice and Directions.Devon, UK and Portland Oregon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 257-271.

By rejecting the dominant form of justice and its colonizing effects, people that were once marginalized and silenced are now experiencing voice and participation. They are given the key position in the creation of meaning regarding the event that they have experienced. With this restorative approach, a consistency between the practice of research and the goals and values promoted with restorative justice is necessary. Just as restorative justice challenges the traditional ways of knowing about crime and justice, research practices have the potential to challenge the dominant ways of knowing of the social world. If society is moving from a criminology that is violent and a justice that is retributive, it will need to advance ways of knowing that emphasize connectedness above separation and healing rather than suffering. A set of transformative guidelines for research that is more consistent with the values of restorative justice is presented. Transformative inquiry aims at social action more than “pureâ€? knowledge. It acknowledges that much knowledge is subjective, constructed, and inter-relational. It recognizes the complex and limited nature of research findings. Transformative inquiry respects subjects by promoting values such as collaboration, accountability, confidentiality, and opportunities for subjects to present themselves in their own voice. It defines the researcher’s role as facilitator, collaborator, and learner more than neutral expert. It acknowledges others’ realities and is open to being affected personally by this interaction. It is attuned to the potential harms and unintended consequences for subjects and others. It uses visual as well as verbal, non-linear as well as linear, artistic as well as scientific methods of elicitation and presentation. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.