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An Expansive, Transformative View of Restorative Justice

Harris, M. Kay
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Contemporary Justice Review 7(1): 117-141.

This article addresses two distinct but related concerns. The first section argues for adoption of a wide-ranging conceptualization of restorative justice, one that encompasses concern for community, structural, economic and social levels of attention, as well as personal and direct consideration for parties to crimes and conflicts. It is a view of restorative justice, like that espoused by Sullivan and Tifft, that is transformative in conception, ambition, and operation. It is based on awareness that making distinctions between restorative and community justice may be useful for some purposes but expresses a preference for thinking of these two perspectives as part of a larger whole. The second part of the article highlights 10 values or principles that may help guide the development and implementation of an expansive view of restorative justice. It suggests that a person who wishes to pursue a more peaceful and just world should be ethically engaged, behave in an exemplary fashion, beware of and avoid exploitation, fully embrace equality, be empathic, act so as to empower oneself and others, recognize the entwinement of all people and the earth, select interventions that are effectual while being error-aware, appreciate that ends and means are enmeshed, and act with earnest enthusiasm. Author’s abstract.


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