Source: (2004) Corrections Today. December: 102-104.
Chinaâ€™s changing social situation and the growth of social services has left the door open for the emergence of restorative justice. Following an annual Symposium of China Ministry in California, a memorandum of understanding between Prison Fellowship Hong Kong and Nanjing University was entered into that established the Nanjing University Crime Prevention and Control Research Centre. The Centre combined practical services with academic research to improve offender rehabilitation and to implement restorative justice practices in China. It was thought that the principles of restorative justice would fit well with the Chinese philosophy of â€œWillingness for Peace.” Following the establishment of the Centre, a joint project with Nanjing Women Prison resulted in the provision of inmate counseling services. The program underscored the importance of appreciating the crime process and the prior life experiences of the offender. The importance of restorative justice was highlighted when it was realized that many offenders had previously been victims; a restorative approach addresses the victimâ€™s needs, thus reducing the chances of them becoming future offenders. Restorative justice in China can hopefully play a part in making this a more harmonized country. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
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