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From retribution to repair: Juvenile justice and the history of restorative justice.

Mulligan, Steve
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) University of La Verne Law Review. 31(1): 139-149.

In the last thirty years, restorative justice principles and practices
have gained popularity in juvenile justice systems throughout the
world. Restorative justice theories have come to influence juvenile
justice systems in areas such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel,
South Africa, and much of Western Europe. In 1989, New Zealand
redesigned its juvenile justice system to require programs like mediation
and family group conferencing. Since then, youth offenses have
declined by approximately two-thirds in the nation. Restorative justice
is also gaining popularity in the United States, although not as quickly
as it is abroad. According to the National Survey of Victim Offender
Mediation Programs in the United States conducted in 1998, at least
twelve states had implemented, or were in the process of implementing,systematic changes in their juvenile justice systems to incorporate
restorative justice practices.
Despite these developments, many Americans are still unfamiliar
with the concept of restorative justice. Favoring more retributive and
punitive philosophies, some call it a “passing fad” or a “soft on crime”
approach. In response to such criticism, scholars have attempted to
rationalize restorative justice by placing it in a broad historical context.9
This Comment examines the history of restorative justice and discusses
its usefulness for child advocates who wish to promote restorative
justice principles in juvenile systems and codes. (Author’s introduction).


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