Back to RJ Archive

Restorative Justice in the prison setting.

Newell, Tim
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Resolution: News from the Restorative Justice Consortium. Summer. 19: 4-6. Downloaded 15 September 2005.

Applying the principles of Restorative Justice in a custodial setting call for sensitivity and courage. There are several ways in which it has been applied from restorative programmes – such as conferences and victim offender mediation or therapeutic communities – to partly restorative work such as community work projects and resettlement work. The restorative focus is on those most directly affected by a crime, and RJ’s problem-solving and future-oriented methods make it an ideal complement to the work of prisons, addressing some typical dilemmas of each theory of criminal justice, which are listed in this article. Newell defines the main limitations of prisons that impede their capacity for restorative work and also lists some of the obvious areas for restorative approaches in prisons. The potential for restorative justice in prisons is considerable. It should not be seen primarily as a tool towards reducing recidivism, but as a means towards empowering offenders to take responsibility for their actions and to make amends to their victims and their communities. Guided by RJ, prisons can become true places of healing and transformation for the community as well as those directly affected by crime – victims and offenders.


AbstractCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now