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Responsibility-taking, Relationship-building and Restoration in Prisons.

Barabas, Tunde
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Budapest: OKRI.

Introducing restorative justice into prisons is not straightforward, however, and the strength of this book lies in facing some of the difficulties of implementing this new approach, which is unfamiliar to most of those involved. Advocates of restorative justice have given little attention to these practical problems. Some projects incorrectly describe themselves as “restorative” (others, however, which are at least partly restorative do not use this term). Inmates’ motivation may appear to be influenced by self-interest; they could believe that they might earn advantages in the prison system. The staff might comply in order to impress the governor, or see the restorative method as a way of disposing of conflicts easily. The latter, of course, is not necessarily a disadvantage: if criminal justice personnel save themselves work by using a restorative approach, everyone benefits. The pilot study shows how restorative justice can positively influence the communication culture of a hierarchical institution, how it can become a first step towards empowering people (both staff and inmates) to articulate their needs, and to belive that some dialogue and cooperation might be possible. (excerpt)


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