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Provocations of Restorative Justice

Cohen, Ronald
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Social Justice Research. 14(2): 209-232.

Depending on whom you ask, restorative justice is a concept, a theory, or a social movement. It is also, variously, ‘new wine in old bottles,’ ‘atavistic’ and ‘fundamentally misguided,’ (e.g., Delgado (2000). Standard Law Rev. 52: 751-775; Levrant et al. (1999). Crime Delinq. 45(1): 3-27) or revolutionary, immensely promising, and transformative (e.g., Bazemore&Schiff, 2001). I intend
to suggest here how recent work on restorative justice might serve as a stimulating provocation to continuing work on procedural and distributive justice. I try to do that in three steps: first, by offering a short description of theory and research on restorative justice; second, by discussing a particular social policy and associated practice ‘the Vermont Reparative Probation Boards’ that has grown out of that work; and third, by discussing work on three issue clusters that might provoke a rethinking of some fundamental issues.


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