Source: (2013) In, David J. Cornwell, John Blad, and Martin Wright, eds., Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform. pp. 209-253.
Is criminal justice becoming more and more uncivilsed and, if so, how could this be explained? Could it be related to the approach of the criminal justice system as an ‘assembly line’ that should produce punishments and effective crime control in the most cost-effective way, dominated by an instrumentalist rationality, instead of viewing criminal justice as a normative system of checks and balances promoting the values of a purportedly democratic society within the Rule of Law? If certain tendencies towards de-civilisation can be demonstrated, to what extent and how could the implementation of restorative justice then contribute to a return to more civilised criminal justice? Could re-civilisation of criminal justice by implementing restorative justice also contribute to reducing relapse into crime? These are the questions that will be explored in this chapter, in an attempt to elaborate the intuition that restorative justice could function as a new civilisation movement for criminal justice. But not only restorative justice: other strategies can also contribute, as several other chapters in this book argue, and these strategies seem interlinked and could well be combined. (excerpt)
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