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Portia and Persephone revisited: thinking about feeling in criminal justice

Masters, Guy
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Theoretical Criminology 2(1): 5-27.

An essay and review seeks to establish connections between John Braithwaite’s theory of reintegrative shaming, the recent interest in “relational justice,” and the “ethic of care” in feminist philosophy. Following F. Heidensohn (1986), the figures of Portia and Persephone are used to represent, respectively, the ethics of justice and of care. Empirical data on victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing and Japanese approaches to social control suggest that procedures allowing for the expression of caring as a response to offending are both theoretically well-founded and practically feasible. Conclusions include reflections on dangers in current penal policy trends in the U.K.


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