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Is there justice in restorative?

July 5, 2009

More recently I became aware that there are all these other
movements in restorative justice.  In fact, the voices seem to be most
vibrant outside of criminal justice, like in schools; even
environmental conservation officers and all kinds of groups like
dispute resolution centers are really grabbing hold.  But they are
saying,  “We’re not in the justice system, so let’s call it restorative
practices and apply what we’ve learned from restorative justice to a
new context.”

Restorative justice provides a gateway for people to look at the
world through a new lens that goes far beyond criminal justice:  it
applies to everyday life as we negotiate our social relationships.  We
need to do it in all of life.  So in our enthusiasm – myself included –
we have kept the word restorative and put it in front of much of the
good work we are doing that involves people, repair and relationship

Suddenly I’ve had to step back and ask, “Why are we hanging on
to the word ‘restorative’ and not the word ‘justice?‘  Is it important
to keep the term restorative justice?  When we use the word restorative
without the word justice, are we still talking about the same thing?”

Read the whole entry.


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