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Satisfaction guaranteed? The meaning of satisfaction in restorative justice

Van Ness, Daniel W
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative community justice: Repairing harm and transforming communities, ed. Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff, 47-62. With an introduction by Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Co.

The authors note the broad scope of restorative justice. Encompassing victims, offenders, and communities, restorative justice theory and practice move toward a comprehensive approach to crime and response to crime. Hence, restorative justice has a wide and rich terminology, but the terms used even by proponents are not always precise and consistent in definition. The authors, therefore, focus on clarifying the meaning of one significant term or concept in restorative justice theory and practice: satisfaction. Toward this end, they identify three attributes that effective restorative justice language should have; they contend that satisfaction is central to restorative justice theory, such that it should possess those three attributes; they propose a definition of satisfaction that draws on restorative justice theory, law, and the social sciences; and they present a strategy for testing the validity of their definition. Their aim is to achieve a common understanding of satisfaction, thereby contributing to a transformation of criminal justice into restorative justice.


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