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“Mediation, criminal justice and community involvement. A European perspective.”

Faget, Jacques
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) In Victim-offender mediation in Europe: Making restorative justice work, ed. The European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, 39-48. With an introduction by Tony Peters. Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

With a European context in particular in view, Faget examines the meaning of community involvement in criminal justice. The value of community involvement has been touted for the last three decades by many people and organizations, including restorative justice advocates. In certain respects, the promotion of community involvement in the criminal justice sphere is not unique. In Western societies at least, it has occurred as part of the promotion of community involvement in other significant spheres of social and political life, especially in reaction to the role of the state. In general, the advocacy of community involvement portrays the community as “goodâ€? and the state or institution as “bad.â€? In view of all of this, Faget analyzes significant ambiguities in the meaning of community involvement. While still promoting the value of community involvement, he maintains that the dichotomy into “goodâ€? community and “badâ€? institution is simplistic and naïve. For example, “involvementâ€? can mean various things. It can mean participation, which signifies control. Yet it can also mean entanglement, which signifies lack of control. Even participation has ambiguous meanings. For example, it can mean merely to give one’s opinion, or it can mean to contribute to decision-making and even organizational creation and management. Community is even more ambiguous.


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