Restorative Justice Process Analysis

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The Restorative Justice process represents a transformation from justice as a tool for “social control” (18), to thinking of it as a tool for “social engagement” (Morrison, 2010). Instead of looking at what sort of punishment the offender deserves, as it is done in the traditional process, the restorative process looks at it in a sense of how they are able to repair the harm that has been done to all parties involved. The traditional justice system often leaves victims feeling powerless and re-victimised as they are offered little to no emotional closure or healing (28) due to the process failing to acknowledge the individual needs, instead they treat victims and cases in a generic sense (23). The Sentencing Act 2002 recognized these concerns…show more content…
The key element to the restorative justice process being successful is that the offender acknowledges guilt. The restorative process supports this by allowing the victim to express their feelings through deep discussion with the offender by giving the victim a voice that is heard, and therefore allowing the victim to understand and accept the offence through the ability to seek answers, which will result in closure for the victim (30). This process empowers the victim (31) and restores some of feelings of lack of control and additionally is said to reduce fear by facing the offender with confidence, by having an active role in the process (31). The process’ key aim is to reach consolidation with all parties involved, and ascertain what engagements need to be inaugurating to make amends, and research suggested that 95% of the time, victims and offenders reach an agreement (97). This can include a simple apology, forms of assistance to the victim or a physical contribution to the community…show more content…
Traditionally, harms associated with humiliation and exploitation, such as acquaintance rape has been poorly recognized by court-based processes; and it is best handled outside the court room. The reasoning behind this is that rape is a traumatic experience that disrupts the basics of a victim’s life, without any help this trauma may have a long term affect on the victim by damaging their behaviour, values and generating an immense amount of fear (Young, 1983). The Minister of Justice makes it clear that there is a hesitancy to fund restorative justice for sexual violence cases in New Zealand due to a sheer lack of knowledge to assist such a procedure (McDonald, 2011), as if the victim is not adequately supported throughout the restorative process, they are likely to undergo additional injury. Nevertheless, because of this serious harm caused by something so personal being taken without consent, advocates of the restorative process deem this method may offer useful alternatives to the traditional justice system, in the sense that the victim does not become re-victimised and humiliated telling their perspective of the event just as an eyewitness, instead the victim is able to come to terms with the event and be gifted with emotional closure through treatment, acknowledgment of the harm done and answers

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