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Just what does restorative justice restore?

June 28, 2010

Press officers in many police forces are busy extolling the virtues of the latest ploys to avoid the use of the courtroom for justice. The watchword is Restorative Justice?. Bedfordshire Police is one of many employing this procedure and a report can be read here. But two quotes from the newspaper report are illustrative of the mindset behind this initiative;

“Since the initiative’s introduction, 319 crimes have been dealt with in this manor as opposed to costly and time-consuming court procedures.”

“It is typically used to address crimes such as shoplifting, minor assault and criminal damage.”

Thames Valley Police state amongst other benefits of RJ,

“These disposals – for low-level crime – were introduced to deal with offenders without bringing them into the Criminal Justice system and allow the victim to say what they would like to come out of the incident. This is often just acceptance of wrongdoing and an apology.”

Many other forces are putting out similar propaganda the essence of which is that for certain offenders and increasingly serious offences avoidance of justice through the courts system is a better choice for all of us; public and offenders alike.

There are two wedges which I find tasty and useful….most cheeses and wooden ones to keep doors open. The processes described in this post are in my opinion the increasingly thickening wedges of an authoritarian state. The thin edge must not be allowed to become any thicker. Perhaps this change of government is a step in the right direction…..time will tell.

Read the whole article.


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