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Con Game and Restorative Justice: Inventing the Truth about Canada’s Prisons

Elliott, Elizabeth
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Canadian Journal of Criminology. 44(4):459-474.

For a variety of reasons, many agree that there are serious problems with the modern prison system. In 2002 Michael Harris released his book Con Game in which he claims that Canada’s prison system is in crisis. The book has received both positive and critical reviews. Some see it as a fine piece of investigative journalism; others criticize it as blatantly weak in research. In this essay, Liz Elliott adds to those who decry the book. In particular she challenges Harris’s assertions about restorative justice in the philosophy and operations of the federal corrections system. To make her argument, she presents a description of the essential features of restorative justice, discusses its application potential in prisons, and surveys the use of restorative justice in the Correctional Service of Canada.


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