Source: (2003) Social Policy Times. 3(2). Research Center on Societal and Social Policy. Downloaded 2 March 2004.
While an escalating cycle of violence and judicially sanctioned counter violence seems to be the norm for a world gone astray from the impulse of its gentler angels, there are growing signs that many societies are attempting to find a way out of the destructive and repetitive cycles of harm and retribution. The Restorative Justice Movement is one such example of this emerging effort. Restorative justice aims to bring about a fundamental change in modern western cultural response to crime and punishment. The Restorative Justice Movement sprang from the civil rights, feminist, and indigenous freedom movements of the 1960s and 1970s. While these earlier progenitors were largely focused on social transformation, the Restorative Justice Movement has as its primary aim the dismantling of the justice-industrial complex (Johnstone, 2002). This system executes or incarcerates ever increasing numbers of its citizenry in a continually more punitive and depriving environment. Restorative Justice seeks to replace the values of vengeance and retributions with a more humane and morally defensible stance of restoration, healing, and forgiveness. These are thought to be the primary ameliorative paths of crime victims and the only way to “create just communities in which people who are in pain and suffering can heal with dignity” (Sullivan and Taft: 21) and where meeting core humans needs and maintaining primary relationships are created and honored from the outset. (excerpt)
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