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Reflections of a Skeptical Dreamer: Some Dilemmas in Restorative Justice Theory and Practice

Harris, M. Kay
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Contemporary Justice Review v.1: 57-69

We are witnessing a tremendous growth in restorative justice programs around the globe. This is an exciting development for people seeking better means of responding to crime and conflict than conventional criminal justice measures. Yet there are several important challenges that need to be surmounted if restorative justice ideals are to be achieved. Advocates need to consider ways in which the concept may be applied either too narrowly, which would limit its potential for reducing the reach of the criminal justice system, or too broadly, which would yield a net increase in intervention. In light of the wide variations among communities and in understanding of fundamental values, proponents of restorative justice also must face dilemmas that surround efforts to enhance the role and responsibilities of local communities in responding to crime.


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