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“Lessons unlearned: women offenders, the ethics of care, and the promise of restorative justice.”

Failinger, Marie A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Fordham Urban Law Journal 33(2): 487-526.

This Article focuses on the reality that women’s relationality, and particularly their relationships with men in their lives, (44) profoundly affects the behavior that lands them in the criminal justice system. Covington has described how dysfunction in women offenders’ relationships leads to drug abuse and other crime, and how important it is that women offenders be treated in relational systems. (45) I argue that restorative justice, which is essentially grounded on an ethical understanding of crime and treats the offender as an interacting subject/agent, is a necessary avenue of response to most women offenders’ crimes, and that corrections must go beyond a psychological approach that treats crime as a form of illness, or a systemic model which attempts primarily to rectify deficits in women’s social situation. My claim is a modest “maybe” in terms of the success of this approach because, to my knowledge, no systems have studied the relative long-term effectiveness of treatment-based, services-based, traditional incarceration, and restorative justice approaches on women offenders. (excerpt)


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