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How Do Culture, Class and Gender Affect the Practice of Restorative Justice? (Part 2)

Raye, Barbara
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. 325-336.

Barbara Raye observes that in the United States people of color — especially African Americans and Native Americans — are disproportionately arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated. At the same time, the number of people of color working in the field, leading criminal justice services agencies, or receiving services is under-represented. In this context, Raye further asserts that the values and practices designated as “restorative justice” by “religious, peace-driven, middle class and educated white men of the early 1960s” are actually rooted deeply in indigenous and feminine experiences and contexts. Her fundamental point is that biases of gender, race, and class affect indigenous and feminine sub-cultures within the larger Western worldview. Therefore, to address these biases with respect to indigenous people and women in restorative justice, three areas need attention: (1) selection and recruitment of facilitators; (2) referral of cases; and (3) practitioners’ understanding of crime and effects of crime.


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