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Restorative Justice and the Law: The Case for an Integrated, Systemic Approach

Dignan, Jim
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Restorative Justice and the Law. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 168-190.

Restorative justice theory and initiatives have developed dramatically in recent years around the world, with increasing influence at many levels of criminal justice policy-making: international; governmental; and sub-governmental within a wide range of criminal justice agencies. With this growth, observes Dignan, certain significant “fault lines,â€? or tensions and divergences, within the restorative justice movement have become starkly apparent. Dignan identifies three “fault linesâ€? that delineate different strands of restorative justice thinking: process versus outcome definitions; “civilianâ€? versus “communitarianâ€? perspectives; and “separatistâ€? versus “integrationistâ€? tendencies. Reflecting on these tensions and divergences, he also draws out some of their policy implications. All of this leads to his discussion of the roles of non-custodial penalties and imprisonment within a systemic model of restorative justice.


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