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Security, Without Care: Challenges for Restorative Values in Prison.

Elliott, Elizabeth
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Contemporary Justice Review. 10(2):193-208.

This article examines some conceptual issues that arise when we consider the implications of introducing restorative justice in prison. Using the definition of ‘security’ as ‘without care,’ the analysis focuses on two key restorative concepts: relationships and values. The significance of relationships in restorative justice is emphasized through the lens of aboriginal justice where healing of individuals and their relationships is centered. Values have to do with justice and care. These concepts are discussed in concert with two specific rehabilitative strategies in Canadian federal prisons – education and correctional programming — and then with the general rehabilitation project of the prison in Canadian democratic society. Significant contradictions occur, however, when we attempt to nest the rehabilitative ideals of relationships and values in the context of a punitive total institution whose overriding emphasis is on security. These contradictions are intensified when competing versions of security as ‘attachment’ from a human development perspective challenge the penal notion of security as ‘detachment and separation.’ (author’s abstract)


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