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Balancing the Ethical and the Political: Normatice Reflections on the Institutionalization of Restorative Justice

Hudson, Barbara
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Ivo Aertsen, Tom Daems and Luc Robert, editors, Institutionalizing Restorative Justice. Cullompton, Devon and Portland: Willan Publishing Press pp.261-278

This chapter begins with the author’s reflections on risk within the realm of criminal justice, including features of recent developments that she believes to be important. She then takes into consideration what these developments in penal policy might mean for the institutionalization of restorative justice, especially in terms of the implications of institutionalizing restorative justice into the current penal environment. The author discusses three themes that represent the normative aspects of contemporary penalties and that have implications for the institutionalization of restorative justice. Those three themes are: a move from risk management to risk control, the persistence of the white male standpoint in law, and the decline of ‘community.’ She states that risk management is the goal of restorative justice and goes on to discuss the various ethical and political features of restorative justice. She concludes the chapter with recommendations regarding the institutionalization of restorative justice, stating that the essential point is to balance the ethical with the political.


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