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Specifying aims and limits for restorative justice models: A reply to von Hirsch, Asworth, and Shearing.

Moss, Andrew
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Washtington, DC: Prison Fellowship International. Restorative Justice Online.

The purpose of this essay is to attempt to answer the question of how we ought to respond to criminal offenders whose guilt has been established. Restorative justice theorists have offered new and interesting answers to this question, but their work has been increasingly criticised. In their well-known critique, von Hirsch, Ashworth and Shearing argue that restorative justice models common in the literature: (1) posit several vaguely formulated goals without priority among them specified, (2) have underspecified means and modalities, (3) contain few or no dispositional criteria, and (4) lack adequate fairness constraints on severity of dispositions. In this essay I present a novel compositeaims restorative justice model and specify its aims and limits. The composite-aims model builds upon the work of other prominent restorative justice theorists to produce a model that withstands von Hirsch et al.’s critique and provides a desirable framework for responding to convicted offenders. (author’s abstract)


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