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How Do Culture, Class and Gender Affect the Practice of Restorative Justice? (Part 1)

Jenkins, Morris
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Howard Zehr and Barb Toews, eds., Critical Issues in Restorative Justice. Monsey, New York and Cullompton, Devon, UK: Criminal Justice Press and Willan Publishing. Pp. 311-323.

According to Morris Jenkins, issues of racism, classism, and sexism have long plagued the criminal justice system’s response to criminality in the United States. Restorative justice is a proposed response to criminality that may overcome these issues, he claims. To explore the problems and the potential of restorative justice with respect to the issues, Jenkins focuses in this chapter on the cultural sub-components of race and racism as they affect African Americans – this because African Americans and their communities are over-represented as offenders and victims of crime in urban settings in the United States. He discusses how restorative justice has attempted to deal with these issues of race and racism within the movement. Specifically, Jenkins considers alternative explanations for African-American crime and examines responses to crime within the African-American community that can enhance the restorative justice approach.


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