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Correctional Officers’ Perceptions of Restorative Justice

Potgieter, P. J.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) ACTA Criminologica. 18(1):40-53.

The contemporary criminal justice model has focused heavily on retribution and on the punitive punishment of offenders. Shifts have been occurring in this dominant criminal justice ideology that push for more restorative models of justice, which involve the active participation of the offender, victim, and community in restoring justice to all parties. An integral part of this process is the acceptance of responsibility by the offender. The current study assessed how correctional officers at seven correctional centers in South Africa perceive aspects of restorative justice. Participants were 401 arbitrarily selected correctional officers, representing all ranks, who completed a closed, structured questionnaire that probed perceptions of restitution, restoration between the offender and victim, rehabilitation, and prison overcrowding. Results are delineated based on gender and rank of responding correctional officer. Overall, the findings suggest support for a restorative justice model, particularly the aspects of monetary compensation for crime victims and the rendering of services by offenders to communities impacted by their offenses. Results also indicate that correctional officers believe a restorative justice model can reduce recidivism and reduce prison overcrowding. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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