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. 143-153.
Restorative justice measures, along with other alternative responses to crime, have been promoted for a number of reasons, including the hope that they would significantly challenge and even replace incarceration as a dominant response to crime. However, remarks Russ Immarigeon, the part of the restorative justice vision that linked it to incarceration has changed or faded as the movement ages, except perhaps as efforts to apply restorative justice inside prisons, even to the point of using it as a set of guidelines for the operation of prisons. Against this background, Immarigeon argues that restorative justice measures rarely divert anyone from prison, particularly in the United States. Instead, restorative justice sentences commonly increase the burden of these sanctions on those who are convicted. All of this leads Immarigeon to speculate whether restorative justice measures are challenging and replacing current criminal justice practices, or whether they are being captured or co-opted by mainstream policies and practices.
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