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Healing memory, ontological intimacy, and U.S. imprisonment: Toward a Christian politics of “good punishment” in civil society.

Logan, James Samuel
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Law and Contemporary Problems. 75(4):77-86.

Another sign of the Christian practice of healing memories carried into the
civil imagination is restorative justice. All too briefly articulated, models of
restorative justice represent a more systemic, peaceable witness that Christians,
and others, contribute to a society way too committed to the violence of
retributive punishment. Restorative justice is a phrase that “encompasses a
variety of programs and practices” based on an “alternative framework for
thinking about wrongdoing.”
Restorative justice is community-based and deals
with offenders through a victim-oriented process of restoration.
approaches to criminal justice, in opposition to retributive frameworks, reject
the idea that it is primarily the infliction of suffering and pain that will vindicate
wrongdoing. While it is not unusual for victims (or their surrogates) and
offenders to meet at some point during a restorative justice process, prominent
proponents of restorative justice assert that forgiveness and reconciliation are
not primary goals. Nonetheless, the context does provide a setting where some
degree of either or both might occur. Restorative justice advocates should
include forgiveness and reconciliation as stated goals where at all possible. (excerpt)


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