Source: (2013) International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Published online before print November 27, 2013, doi: 10.1177/0306624X13511403.
New Zealand is well known for its restorative justice conferences in the youth justice system. However, restorative justice has yet to overwhelm the adult criminal justice system. Based on interviews in New Zealand with correctional staff, restorative justice providers, and others, this article explores the reason for the modest inroads that restorative practice has made, and suggests that the general context may explain the limits of restorative justice in other places. The article argues that bureaucratic silos make it challenging to determine if restorative practice might fit within a rehabilitation or reintegration framework. In addition, because of the dominance of psychological modes for assessing and treating criminal behavior, an overarching preoccupation with risk management orients correctional practice toward treatment. Moreover, restorative justiceâ€™s affiliation with victimsâ€™ perspectives has made its placement within offender reintegration difficult to imagine. Finally, the penal populism that frames correctional practice in New Zealand, and other Anglophone countries, makes alternative to punishment harder to sell. However, the current liminal state of correctional practice creates an opportunity to conceive of more humanistic ways of repairing the harm caused by crime. (author’s abstract)
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