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Restorative Justice: The Empowerment Model

Barton, Charles
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Sydney: Hawkins Press, 194p.

In this book, Charles Barton combines his own analytical and practical experience in examining and promoting an empowerment model or paradigm of restorative justice. As an academic, his training and work have been in analytic philosophy with a focus on practical and applied ethics; his practical background has been in conflict resolution as a mediator and group facilitator. While a doctoral student in Australia in 1990, Barton began to argue that victim empowerment was urgently needed to end the re-victimization of crime victims that occurred through the criminal justice system. Several years later he encountered restorative justice. Restorative justice both confirmed his perspective and expanded it to a realization that the criminal justice system disempowered both victims and offenders. From this realization, he has developed a paradigm of empowerment for both restorative justice and the conventional justice system – a paradigm or model with victim-offender empowerment as the central principle of criminal justice. In this regard, he contends that much of restorative justice theory and advocacy has falsely opposed retributive and restorative justice. The idea and pursuit of empowerment for victims and offenders provide a more philosophically and empirically plausible over-arching framework for restorative justice. Barton details his perspective in a number of chapters divided under two broad headings: theory and application. In Part I, he constructs the theory behind this empowerment model of restorative justice. In Part II, he moves from theory to practice. Barton adds to the usefulness of this book with appendices containing a script for facilitators, a crisis management plan, and role plays, as well as a bibliography and an index.


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