Source: (2006) Papers presented at the Fourth Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, â€œRestorative justice: An agenda for Europeâ€, Barcelona, Spain, 15-17 June 2006.
The article identifies social healing as the key value that should underpin restorative justice. This builds on the work of Bazemore (2001: 209) who states healing is â€˜[T]he first and most important big idea of the restorative perspectiveâ€¦â€™ It is a value that has even been obscured by intra-restorative debates, particularly those that have dichotomised process and outcome. Through the focus on healing, it is argued that it is possible to gain a more convincing commitment to restorative principles through which a challenge to the taken-for-granted assumptions of traditional criminal justice can take place. It is our contention that healing has the potential to take place on three levels â€“the individual level, between victims and offenders; at the criminal justice policy level where those implementing restorative justice strategies can bring about institutional changes through their practice; at the societal level where greater community and inter-agency involvement in restorative processes become the filter through which, to use Zehrâ€™s analogy, the lens is changed. (excerpt)
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