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Restorative justice and a new criminal law of substance abuse

Braithwaite, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Bringing restorative justice to adolescent substance abuse, ed. Kathryn G. Herr. Special issue of Youth & Society 33 (December), 227-248. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Braithwaite begins this article with the claim that substance abuse can be a source of profound harm and injustice. Restorative justice, oriented toward repair of harm and injustice, can be effective against substance abuse. Restorative processes can provide motivation and opportunity for the substance abuser to change. Additionally, since restorative processes foster deliberative democracy, they build democratic commitment, wherein all concerned parties may come together to recognize injustice and repair the harm of an injustice. On these bases, Braithwaite argues for criminalizing the harm from substance abuse, not the abuse itself. Crime then becomes the occasion for confronting and reducing substance abuse through restorative processes to repair the harm and injustice connected with the abuse.


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