Restorative Justice

Wrongdoing (and heroism) in context

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

Philip Zimbardo’s 2007 book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, provides an in-depth description and evaluation of his 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. To study the dynamics of prison, this famous experiment randomly assigned college student to be guards or inmates in a mock prison. Within a very short time the project had… Read more »

10 ways to live restoratively

& Restorative Justice.

1.    Take relationships seriously, envisioning yourself in an interconnected web of people, institutions and the environment. 2.    Try to be aware of the impact – potential as well as actual – of your actions on others and the environment. 3.    When your actions negatively impact others, take responsibility by acknowledging and seeking… Read more »

Creating the “other” in research, photography, justice

& Peacebuilding, Photography, Restorative Justice.

“Much of qualitative research,” writes researcher Michelle Fine, “has reproduced…a colonizing discourse of the ‘Other.’”  So also, she might have added, has photography.  So also has justice. (See “Working the Hyphens:  Reinventing Self and Other in Qualitative Research” in Denzin & Lincoln eds., Handbook of Qualitative Research, 1st Ed.) Nils Christie has spoken of this otherness as… Read more »

Three justice orientations

& Restorative Justice.

Stanford Law Professor Herbert Packer has argued that two opposing justice orientations dominate U.S. policy debates: crime control vs. due process. Could a restorative justice orientation provide a “third way?” that transcends these poles? The following identifies some assumptions of each. Crime control orientation: emphasis on order and security Order is essential in society so… Read more »

Barriers to accountability

& Restorative Justice.

James Gilligan, in his important book Violence:  Reflections of a National Epidemic, says that all violence is an effort to do justice or to undo injustice. That is, violence – and much offending behavior in general – is a response to experiences or perceptions of victimization. Experiences of victimization or trauma, in short, can help… Read more »

Shame and restorative processes

& Restorative Justice.

The topic of shame has become a controversial issue in restorative justice.  I’m convinced that an awareness of shame and its dynamics is critical for the field but I also believe there are serious dangers of misunderstanding and misuse. It seems clear that shame plays a major role in human psychology and interactions.  It is… Read more »

Is there justice in restorative?

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

Following the recent 2nd Annual Conference of Restorative Justice Practices International I had the privilege of spending several days on Salt Spring Island off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, with three experienced restorative justice practitioners who are former students of mine – Catherine Bargen, Aaron Lyons and Matthew Hartman.  Our conversations were wide-ranging while… Read more »