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Restorative justice: a discussion of punishment?

Willemsens, Jolien
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Repositioning Restorative Justice. Devon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 24-42.

Jolien Willemsens argues that for restorative justice to become the philosophy for the whole justice system, as against being just some alternative practices on the edge of the system, it must deal with a number of legitimate and significant questions. One such question is what place punishment would have in a justice system based on restorative justice. This is strongly debated among proponents of restorative justice. Some contend that punishment is or can be part of restorative justice; others maintain that it has no place in a restorative justice system.
Are the differences substantive, or are they merely bickering over terminology? For example, what some people call “punishmentâ€? others call “restorative sanctions.â€? To explore all of this, Willemsens presents an overview of the different positions in the debate. Since positions are deeply linked with perspectives on how restorative justice should function as a part of or as an alternative to the criminal justice system, Willemsens also describes her own position on the potential for restorative justice and on punishment in relation to restorative justice.


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