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How Restorative Justice is Able to Transcend the Prison Walls: A Discussion of the “Restorative Detention” Project

Robert, Luc
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In, Elmar Weitekamp and Hans-Jurgen Kerner, eds. Restorative Justice in Context: International Practice and Directions.Devon, UK and Portland Oregon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 95-122.

The initiative for Restorative Detention came from the penology and victimology research groups. This punishment-oriented and victim-oriented research is part of a tradition that spans three decades. The number of inmates in the prison system had increased by almost 40 percent over the last decade. There were many disadvantages associated with imprisonment, such as personal harm. In this context, restorative justice had recently been introduced as a new and promising perspective. Restorative justice is an interaction between offender, victim, and society where all parties make an effort and investment in order to arrive at a level of conciliation and communication. An essential characteristic is the restorative justice prison culture, which constitutes a culture of respect for prison personnel, prisoners, and the outside world. Another point of interest focuses on the financial problems of prisoners. For restorative detention to have any change of success, personnel from all prison departments must be personally and constructively involved. The introduction of the victim and the community leaves the door open to prisoners for processing what has happened and taking up responsibility. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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