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The moral discourse of healing: Victims and offenders for restorative justice.

Lawrence, Charles F
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Journal of Societal and Social Policy. 3(2):49-64.

The study below deals with the experiences of healing and reconciliation of inmates, victims,
and citizens based on five seminars on restorative justice at the Washington State Reformatory,
a close custody facility for men in Washington. The research centers on the formation of a moral
community that links victims and offenders, that is, on the way victims and their relatives
articulate their suffering and on the way offenders could be asked to take responsibility for their
crimes and address the harms they had caused. The goal of the seminars was to discuss a new
way of achieving justice through the restoration of harms caused, rather than the achievement of
healing itself. The initial recognition of one another as persons who are capable of being harmed
or of suffering was achieved by letting each side tell their story. These stories formed the core
and the basis of healing for victims, the offenders, and community representatives alike. This
highlights the important role restorative justice approach could play within the correctional
environment. (author’s abstract)


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