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 RJâ€™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 â€“ victims and offenders.
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