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Themes and Issues in Restorative Justice.

Sarre, Rick
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Criminal Justice Review. 32(2):156-162.

The current Western criminal justice system, with its emphasis on maintaining a balance between offenders’ rights (in their defense) and governmental power (represented by the
prosecutorial process) throughout the arrest phase, trial process, and sentencing exercise, has largely ignored restorative justice critiques that have called for a greater emphasis on recognizing emotions, healing injuries, and repairing damage caused by criminal activity. These critiques have come from a number of sources, for example, theological (e.g., Hadley, 2001; Sherman, 2001; Townsend, 1994), legal (e.g., Braithwaite & Pettit, 1990; Christie, 1977; Sarre, 1999), criminological (e.g., Bianchi, 1994; Friedrichs, 2006), psychological (e.g., Eglash, 1977), philosophical (e.g., Mead, 1917/1964), political (e.g., Elias, 1994, 1996), ethical (e.g., Moore, 1993), and historical (e.g., Carr, 1961; Morriss, 2001) sources. These three new books have emerged amid a flurry of contemporary writing on the subject
of restorative justice, complementing and adding to the range of critiques mentioned above. Each is quite different. The first one concentrates on the consequences of a more “victim-focused” agenda for justice systems. The second delves into human relations and moral philosophy. The third provides a concise review of the key players and theories
in the field. All three admirably succeed in their own right and place renewed pressure on justice policy-maker recalcitrants to take seriously the possibilities offered by restorative justice. (excerpt)


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