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Understanding restorative community justice: What and why now?

Bazemore, Gordon
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative community justice: Repairing harm and transforming communities, ed. Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff, 21-46. With an introduction by Gordon Bazemore and Mara Schiff. Cincinnati, OH: Anderson Publishing Co.

In this essay, Bazemore and Schiff explain key elements of restorative community justice. They also seek to explain its emergence at this time. Understanding restorative community justice begins with discerning its roots in the restorative justice and community justice movements. Noting certain apparent differences in emphasis, the authors describe and compare the beginnings of those two movements. Then they trace ways in which the restorative justice and community justice movements have begun to converge. Differences in emphasis centered in the following: more attention to individual cases (restorative justice) versus community circumstances (community justice); more a reaction to crime (restorative justice) versus a prevention of crime (community justice); more rooted in informal structures (restorative justice) versus more rooted in the formal criminal justice system (community justice). Nevertheless, Bazemore and Schiff argue that common ground may be found among advocates of these movements in concerns that require rethinking performance outcomes, priorities for practices, justice processes, and appropriate roles for both justice professionals and community members. They also argue that the term ‘restorative community justice’ is more suitable than either restorative justice or community justice.


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