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. Restorative Justice and the Role of Community

McCold, Paul
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) In, Burt Galaway and Joe Hudson, eds., Restorative Justice: International Perspectives. Monsey, New York: Criminal Justice Press. Pp. 85-101.

There are many different levels of community; the community of standing in any given dispute will depend on factors such as the level of harm inflicted, the relationships of the disputants, and the aggregation represented. Victim, offender, and community each have roles defined by their injury, corresponding needs, and responsibilities. Local communities have five general needs that arise from criminal conflict: a sense of justice, community empowerment in conflict resolution, re-establishment of peaceful relationships, a sense of safety and hopefulness, and concrete actions to prevent the recurrence of similar conflicts. The responsibilities of local communities are to act immediately to protect victim and offender, hold offenders accountable, and insist on the active involvement of interested parties in the resolution process. Further, the community must provide resources for victims and offenders to seek healing, provide public education about the restorative justice model, serve as a model for peaceful conflict resolution processes, and seek the systematic sources for recurring conflict and encourage amelioration at their etiological source. There are no existing models of a full restorative justice system in operation, but the family group conference model being developed in New Zealand and Australia is helpful. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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