Source: (2010) Critical Criminology 19: 91-105.
During the last quarter-century, restorative justice has emerged as a widely utilised response to crime in Western nations. This article, which stems from a Foucauldian genealogy of restorative justice, argues that its embeddedness within the discourse of â€˜â€˜empowermentâ€™â€™ renders restorative justice a politically acceptable response to crime.â€˜â€˜Empowermentâ€™â€™, it is argued, is one of many conditions of emergence of restorative justice. The discourse of â€˜â€˜empowermentâ€™â€™ underpins restorative justice in tangible ways, and has informed legislation and policy in Western jurisdictions. This article seeks to problematise the taken-for-granted nature of this discourse. It argues that the discourse of â€˜â€˜empowermentâ€™â€™ produces restorative justice subjects who are increasingly governed and governable. As â€˜â€˜empoweringâ€™â€™ restorative practices are targeted towards â€˜â€˜disempoweredâ€™â€™ individuals and communities, concerns are raised about the potential of restorative justice to disproportionately impact upon socially marginalised populations and to increase social exclusion.(Excerpt).
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