Restorative Justice

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In 2010, there was an estimated one hundred and fifty-three thousand youths accused of committing a crime in which forty two percent were actually charged by police and fifty eight percent were dealt with by measures such as warnings, cautions and referrals to community programs rather than face the criminal justice system (Public Safety Canada, n.d.). The restorative justice approach for dealing with non-violent young offenders is a restorative process which focuses on reintegration into the community rather than conviction and incarceration. Rather than taking a retributive approach to justice, the punishment and isolation of youth offenders which provides an environment of other criminal offenders, corruptive behaviour, and social isolation…show more content…
There are several contributing factors which influence a young person into offending behaviour. Factors such as family, school, friends, and the community are influential in engaging in criminal behaviour (Youth Court of New Zealand, 2006). However, the restorative justice focuses on solving problems, liabilities and obligations, and the future (Conflict Solution Center, n.d.). The goals of such process lie on resolving the conflict between offender, victim/s, and the community, reintegration of the offender into the community to create a strong community, and maintain the safety within the community (RJ City, n.d.). As previously mentioned, the resolution of conflict between the offender, victim, and the community repairs the harm to those affected, provides understanding of the effects of their actions, and allows for closure. The offender can take responsibility for his actions and is accountable to the victim and the community. Compensation for the harm inflicted to the victim and community is paid. If the rehabilitative process of young offenders achieve the goals mentioned, this should reduce the recidivism in young offenders. This is evident through Sherman and Strang (2007), found that restorative approach to justice reduces recidivism in prison adults’ and prison youths (p.4).…show more content…
It is important to note that not everyone can be ‘repaired’. Although, it is important to consider that retributive justice focuses on incarceration and punishment of young offenders. Incarceration and punishment is socially isolating these individuals from society and integrating them into an environment where other offenders are present and corruptive behaviour continues to occur. This can be supported by Howard League for Penal Reform (as cited Weaver, 2006), which states that the criminal justice system needs to focus on solving problems and repair damages as incarceration, even for a short duration, destroys lives and the harm is not always reparable. Additionally, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (n.d.) reveals that restorative justice reduces recidivism, and repairs harm to the victims. Therefore, although not everyone can be ‘repaired’, restorative justice does provide reduced recidivism and better ‘reparation’ of victims. Nonetheless, incarceration and isolation does not ‘restore’

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