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Creating Restorative Systems.

Van Ness, Daniel W
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Modified version of a paper prepared for presentation to the fifth international conference of the International Network for Research on Restorative Justice for Juveniles, entitled ‘Positioning Restorative Justice’, which was held in Leuven on 16-19 September 2001.

In order to increase the influence of the restorative justice movement for the future, Van Ness proposes models for measurement and conceptual understanding. First, he suggests a map for plotting the “restorativeness” of a system as minimal, moderate or full based on two continuums. Attributes of the process continuum include inclusion–exclusion, balanced interests–single interest, voluntary–coercion, and problem-solving–reprisal. The scales for outcomes are encounter–separation, amends–harm, integration–ostracism, and whole truth–legal truth. The article also considers the relative roles of government and community and the historically fluctuating nature of their cooperation. Current levels of community involvement range from trial on the low end to circles and neighbourhood watches on the high end. Van Ness then broadly addresses a need for a systematic model of restorative justice. While acknowledging the possibility of safety-net or hybrid models, he explores development of a dual track model or unified model, both of which much answer issues of comprehensiveness and feasibility.


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