Restorative Justice

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 »

Paradigms and possibilities

& Restorative Justice.

I’ve always assumed that the ubiquitous erectile dysfunction ads in the media today were a recent abomination.  Turns out I was wrong.  One of the first radio pioneers to realize the potential of the electronic media was a “doctor” John Romulus Brinkley (his medical degree was purchased by mail order from Eclectic Medical University in… Read more »

Partial justice?

& Restorative Justice.

We often equate restorative justice with encounter.  In its “original” form – the model of practice that led to the establishment of this field – this meant a facilitated encounter between victim and offender.  Paul MCold, in an early issue of Contemporary Justice Review, has taken it further:  in what he calls a “purist” view,… Read more »

Restorative justice as a framework for art

& Photography, Restorative Justice.

I was honored and inspired recently to be part of a “Visual Restoration” opening at the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia.  This was a culmination of a two-year restorative justice arts program.  Two large outside murals resulted  and a new book about the project, entitled Visual Representation, was released at this opening.  I was fortunate… Read more »