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What are the Implications of Restorative Justice for Society and Our Lives?

Sullivan, Dennis
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Howard Zehr and Barb Toews, eds., Critical Issues in Restorative Justice. Monsey, New York and Cullompton, Devon, UK: Criminal Justice Press and Willan Publishing. Pp. 387-400.

As Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft write, while there may be disagreements about the origins of restorative justice and the best restorative justice practices, all agree that restorative justice at its core is a process oriented toward meeting human needs. There is, consensus, moreover, that it is not limited to only some but to all who are involved in and affected by crime and other forms of wrongdoing and harm. In this sense, then, restorative justice does not arise from a storehouse of correctional practices; rather, it emerges from a political philosophy of relationship. This philosophy puts forth the view that human beings develop their potential and enhance their collective well-being when their needs are mutually respected and ultimately met. Restorative justice, therefore, takes the individual seriously but emphasizes the individual in relationship with others – that is, with social arrangements, with justice and well-being in social arrangements.


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