Back to RJ Archive

“Justified criticism, misunderstanding, or important steps on the road to acceptance?”

Guy Masters, Ron.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference of the International Network for Research on Restorative Justice for Juveniles. Tübingen, Germany, 1-4 October.

The authors point out that restorative justice, now more than twenty years old as a movement, has both advocates and detractors. They examine certain arguments against restorative justice to judge their validity. One set of arguments they consider, from an English context, come from victim-oriented concerns for victim’s rights and needs. Another set of arguments, from an American context, come from offender-oriented concerns for due process and just deserts. Examples of critiques of restorative justice from a victim-based perspective include the following concerns. Are the rights, interests, and feelings of victims sufficiently reckoned and respected by restorative justice principles and practices? Are victims coerced and burdened – that is, further “victimized�? – by objectives and processes of restorative justice (such as victim/offender mediation)? Examples of critiques of restorative justice from an offender-based perspective include the following concerns. Do restorative justice practices lead to unfair variations (inconsistencies) in the treatment of offenders? Are restorative justice processes (especially victim/offender mediation) really schemes serving middle and upper class interests against minority and lower class offenders? Also, do restorative processes (again, the emphasis is on victim/offender mediation) treat victims with great respect while offenders are treated as problems to be managed, shamed, and conditioned?


AbstractLimitations of RJPrisonsRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeRJ TheoryStatutes and LegislationTeachers and Students
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now