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The Threat to Restorative Justice Posed by the Merger with Community Justice: A Paradigm Muddle

Strang, Heather
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Contemporary Justice Review 7(1): 75-79.

The debate about restorative justice and community justice that Paul McCold encourages in his article (McCold, 2004, this issue) is an important one in the American context. It is important because it would be unfortunate if the development of restorative justice in the US were circumscribed by the limits of community justice. While community justice has proven a popular idea, and while balanced and restorative justice (BARJ) has managed to incorporate a number of restorative justice concepts into community justice, little attention has been given to producing evidence that community justice or BARJ are effective strategies for crime reduction or enhanced community efficacy. While restorative justice might be criticized on similar grounds, progress continues to be made around the world to test its effectiveness. We need to ensure not only that policymakers understand the differences between restorative justice and these other programs but also that much more effort is put into finding the evidence in both community justice and restorative justice about what works, when, and for whom. Author’s abstract.


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