Source: (2008) Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 50(2):117-151.
This paper argues that the rise and subsequent decline of restorative justice programs is a function of the program’s theoretical and procedural alignment with shifting strategies of national governance. It is noted that this raises a question about the role of restorative forums in Canadian governance. Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) executives and the Canadian government promoted community justice forums (CJFs) in the form of family group conferences in the late 1990s, and did so because CJFs offered a process consistent with the national community-policing strategy. Additionally, when this strategy changed to intelligence-led policing and public safety interoperability, executives cut their support for the program. The article opines that if such programs are to remain desirable, multiagency forums (police, public schools, child welfare, and immigration) may well align with the nascent governmental framework of public safety interoperability. The paper also considers another possibility and discusses non-state local peacemaking forums. The conclusion of the work discusses potential benefits and limits of these possibilities and also offers general theoretical observations on the role of alignment in governmental programming. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.gov).
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