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Postmodernism’s challenges to restorative justice

Arrigo, Bruce A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft editors, “Handbook of Restorative Justice” A Global Perspective. London and New York: Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group pp.472-481

This article explores postmodernism’s assessment of restorative justice (RJ) both in theory and in practice. In particular, the conceptual underpinnings of RJ and its procedural extension, victim offender mediation (VOM), are critically examined. At issue are the limits to justice, humanism, and change that unwittingly are legitimized and reproduced through the VOM dialogical exchange. This is a pivotal interaction involving the offender, victim and mediator. The undoing of a more complete experience of justice is problematic; especially given RJ’s genuine commitment to promoting redemption, mercy, forgiveness and compassion. These are dimensions of a healing process that intend to foster a transformative experience for all parties concerned. (excerpt)


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