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“What future for ‘public safety’ and ‘restorative justice’ in a system of community penalties?”

Smith, Michael.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Community penalties: Change and challenges, eds. Anthony Bottoms, Loraine Gelsthorpe, and Sue Rex, 200-225. Cambridge Criminal Justice Series. Devon, UK: Willan Publishing.

As Smith observes, “public safetyâ€? and “restorative justiceâ€? are large ideas and goals. While operational realities may fall short of achieving the ideas and goals, the pursuit of them by community corrections agencies will move the field to a new (“perhaps betterâ€?) condition. Hence, in this essay Smith assesses the relative merits of these ideas and their prospects as guiding ideas for community penalties. He begins with definitions and boundaries of community penalties, public safety, and restorative justice. Following this he inquires whether public safety and restorative justice are conflicting or complementary ideas. With all of this in mind, he then speculates about their futures as guiding perspectives for community corrections.


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