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Restorative Justice as a Third School of Criminology.

Basler, Stan L.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Oklahoma City University Law Review. 33(1):213-236.

The evidence is clear that the two traditional schools of criminology have some merit. Neither theory explains all
criminal behavior nor provides solutions for it. Yet sadly, the criminal justice system and correctional complex as we
know it is indebted almost entirely to the classical system. This includes the classical system’s seriously flawed reliance
upon the belief in legislation and law enforcement to control and reduce criminal behavior. Further, it includes the
equally naive, arguably immoral assumption that there exists some sort of universal equanimity in the quantification of
free will.
My hope in this examination is to precipitate some introspection in the legal education community and the
criminology education community. The vision is that a serious discussion will begin about the need to adapt the system
to the realities with the recognition that people are influenced by many factors in making criminal decisions and that a
cookie-cutter approach is neither effective nor just. With that recognition, I believe that restorative justice can emerge
as a school of criminology because it is a synthesis of the existing schools and includes concepts that, if implemented,
will facilitate positive systemic change unaddressed by existing schools of thought. (excerpt)


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