Reviewing And Addressing The Restorative Justice Criminology Essay

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This paper is written to address and deliver a presentation on Restorative Justice (RJ) that could be delivered as part of an introduction to RJ and if the actual practice does not match the ideal, in reality if there is concerns from pursuing restorative ideals in practice.

As magistrate's practitioners we need to identify problems that can be faced during implementation and which could help understand the gap that if it exist between the theoretical and practical development of RJ, the key principles of RJ include between individuals rather than between offender and the society however we must not rule out help build essential public


Magistrates have an important role to play in monitoring RJ programmes and should approach this in a different way and if RJ is going to achieve its goals of empowering citizens and promoting reparation and reintegration.

The questions we should be ask are there cases or situations in which RJ cannot be used, or should be used only with great care. we need a system that puts the notion of the responsibility of the offender back at the centre, restorative justice has the potential to do that.

To deliver this programme we need to examine some key aspirations of RJ at a wider aspect, practice and the Big Society, the background and about the positive and negative impact that RJ offers within the framework of youth justice system. Restorative Justice is a key and critical part of the Criminal Justice System including that of the Youth Offending Teams and its importance.

Although RJ is not suitable in all cases (for example, where the offender denies responsibility for the crime or the victim is unwilling to participate even indirectly), restorative justice can play an important role in reducing reoffending, helping victims, and increasing public confidence in the justice system.

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Lets us firstly define our understanding that will appeal to us as magistrates and what is the Restorative Justice for?. Restorative Justice is the process whereby victim and offender and the community try to resolve collectively with the aftermath of the offence and its implication for the future and why it became about it helps victims understand why it happened and helps reduce the fear of crime. It also helps offenders to take greater responsibility for their actions and examples of RJ

To enable offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions through meeting victims, making amends to victims or the community.

To prevent re-offending by incorporating the wider community.

To support a wider community that supports the rehabilitation of offenders and victims and is proactive in preventing crime.

To provide a means of avoiding escalation of legal justice and the associated costs and delays.

What we are concern with is the Restorative Justice in practice, does this programme's between Victim-Offender, Victim -Community, Offender-Community meet the justice and in border sense Victim, Offender and Community works, does it means its purpose and aiming to reconnect the offender with his/her environment and community. Research shows that this is a major factor in reducing further offending for example particularly from New Zealand, which has put restorative justice principles into practice to a greater extent than other jurisdictions, ( pages 3).

Many victims of serious crime remain suspicious about restorative approaches, thinking that it may involve issues such as forgiveness. There is a need to work through some of these perceptions as the reality is that through the process the victim remains in charge of what can happen and what they seek through any contact.

Before going further, I need to mention about the rise of RJ. While it can take many forms, it is those processes that bring together victims, offenders and their communities from across the world from remote Aboriginal communities in Australia to inner city neighborhoods in the largest American cities, it is difficult to estimate the number of Restorative Justice programmes

in Europe in excess of 500 programmes (umbreit 1999) 770 in the United States (Schiff, Bazemore et al 2001). Lord Justice Auld's recent view of English and Welsh criminal courts recommended the development and implementation of a natural strategy to ensure consistent appropriate and effective use of restorative justice techniques across England and Wales (Auld 2001 ch.9, Paras 58-59)

The traditional destination in criminal justice was often aimed at the so-called three "Rs", which were expressed as "revenge", "retaliation" and "retribution". Gradually, in the 1960s and 1970s, a fourth "R" was added in the form of "rehabilitation" and in the last decades of the twentieth century the contemporary criminal justice map was completed with the fifth "R", namely "restorative" justice

As we know the RJ is centrally concerned of the victim, and at the same time restorative the offender back into a law-abiding character, the restoration of the damage the crime caused by crime to the community because of the fact it is reply on a large part of individual voluntary cooperation we need to look at the relationship between the RJ and the aspirations and anxieties surrounding its growth.

The traditional destination in criminal justice was often aimed at the so-called three "Rs", which were expressed as "revenge", "retaliation" and "retribution". Gradually, in the 1960s and 1970s, a fourth "R" was added in the form of "rehabilitation" and in the last decades of the twentieth century the contemporary criminal justice map was completed with the fifth "R", namely "restorative" justice

( pages 6)

"Restorative justice is not a soft option many offenders find it difficult to face up to the

impact of their crimes. Research consistently shows that most victims who participate in

some form of restorative justice process find it helpful and are satisfied with the

outcome, and that restorative justice is a promising approach for reducing offending,

particularly when combined with other effective practice-based interventions".

( page 4)

Restorative justice can help to resolve conflict and the harm caused by aggressive, violent and bullying behaviour, and over time young people can begin to develop their own problem-solving skills.

In conclusion of this programme we need to ask ourselves in the framework of this presentation has justice been done in RJ from a positive point have the punishment been considered 'fair' and if he gone thought the system the 'offender may experience how it feels to be the victim perhaps preventing similar behaviour again' and on the flip coin how does one measure/objectify the crime or a relevant punishment and who is to judge what punishment is appropriate for example fining a offender man for stealing money to feed drug problem would make him poorer probably driving him to continue stealing instead of fighting the real problem in this example, the lack of support for people in need or cry, which would reduce the amount of stealing that occurs because the offender would not be forced to steal. Another point to address is taking part in a restorative process is completely voluntary and RJ remains committed to educating young people about the effects of their actions on victims and communities through the programmes they deliver and for the programme to fulfil its means RJ must address firstly on the victim as the core element in the process, whether it is an individual, a group of people or indeed the community as a whole. Victims are not left outside the process feeling little control it places them at the centre. It seeks to heal the responses and implications of crime and wrong-doing by meeting the needs of victims, offenders and communities. "All in all offending must always have consequences, and those consequences should not just be punitive. They should also be about making good, about repairing, about paying back to the victim and to society". It will not work in every case, and when dealing with murder or very serious violent crimes, it will be a much more personal and complicated decision, but in tackling more minor crimes I believe it could have a massive impact in changing the attitudes of offenders and making them think twice about re-offending.

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