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Engaging students on the topic of restorative justice and serious offenses.

Waltman-Spreha, Kelly
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Contemporary Justice Review. 16(1):91-114.

Within contemporary society, there is a prevailing sentiment that our criminal justice system leaves much to be desired in its responses to the offender, the victim, and the community. As a potential answer to these conceded shortcomings, restorative justice has earned significant recognition and consideration. While restorative justice principles and programs have received increasing support, for many individuals this is limited to cases involving relatively ‘minor,’ first time, and/or juvenile offenses. When it comes to situations with more ‘serious’ and violent offenses, acceptance of restorative responses dissipates. Gaining broader acceptance can be particularly challenging with current college students. With many students raised in the ‘get tough on crime’ era, embracing this alternative approach to serious crimes can be a difficult paradigm shift. This article will provide a framework for approaching the feasibility of applying restorative justice with serious offenses in the college course. In addition, suggestions for readings, projects, and assignments that will further assist in effectively engaging students with these issues will be provided. (author’s abstract)


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