RESTORATIVE JUSTICE, EARNED REDEMPTION AND A COMMUNITARIAN RESPONSE
TO CRIME *
Currently, when a crime is committed, two primary questions are
asked: who did it and what should be done to the offender? The latter
question is generally followed with another question about the most
appropriate punishment and/or, at least in the case of a juvenile
offense, most appropriate treatment or service to promote rehabilitation.
The question of punishment or treatment has been a primary preoccupation
of criminal justice dialogue for the past four decades.
Indeed, modern criminal justice ideologies conservative,
liberal, libertarian, "just desserts" can be easily
grouped into general categories based on different views of how
this question of intervention should be addressed.1 In the past
two decades several of these ideologies appear to have coalesced
at the policy level around a broad framework that gives priority
to punishment and lesser emphasis to rehabilitative goals, places
central focus on "desert" as the primary rationale for
decision making, and expands the use of incarceration at all levels
of criminal and juvenile justice in the U.S.2 Despite a continuing
failure to find clear empirical evidence in support of the deterrent
value of incarceration, this retributive justice framework3 or punitive
paradigm4 has attained dominate influence in national and state
policy.5 In response, many corrections professionals and their allies
continue to promote an individual treatment model of rehabilitation
and have emphasized need for treatment and services which, they
argue, if adequately funded and administered with regard to "what
works" best for specific populations of offenders, can reduce
crime by rehabilitating offenders6 . Other critics of the new punitiveness
in criminal justice point both to the expense and the injustice
of these policies, especially as they have impacted minority communities7.
But the retributive paradigm has become popular not because of
the efficiency of punishment but because, in the minds of policymakers
and the public, punitive sanctions serve to affirm community disapproval
of proscribed behavior, denounce crime, and provide consequences
to the lawbreaker.8 The treatment model, on the other hand, clearly
fails to accomplish these functions. Rather, treatment appears to
be unrelated to the offense, related solely to the needs of lawbreakers,
and to require nothing of offenders beyond participation in counseling
or remedial services. It is difficult to convince most citizens
that treatment programs provide anything other than benefits to
offenders (e.g., services, educational and recreational activities),
and there is little in the message of the treatment response which
attempts to communicate to an offender that he or she has harmed
someone and should take action to repair damages wreaked upon the
Increasingly, critics from a variety of different perspectives
are beginning to view the obsession with offender punishment and
treatment in the current response to crime as one-dimensional and
insular. Too often the treatment and punishment intervention paradigms
reduce the justice function and process to a simplistic choice between
helping or hurting offenders, and hence fail to address and balance
the multiple justice needs of communities. In addition, these approaches
share an insular, "closed-system" focus on the offender
that ignores the needs of crime victims and other citizens and fails
to engage them effectively in the response to crime. Moreover, with
the exception of libertarian perspectives,9 all promote expanding
the reach and responsibility of the criminal justice system, while
in some cases undercutting the role of communities in the response
In recent years advocates of a "third way," have begun
to insist that it is possible to ask very different questions about
crime. Viewed through the "lens" of restorative justice,10
crime is important because it causes harm to individuals and their
communities. If crime is in fact about harm, "justice"
cannot be achieved simply by punishing or treating offenders. Rather,
justice processes must promote repair, or an attempt to "heal
the wound" crime causes.11 In contrast to the one-dimensional
focus on punishment or treatment, restorative justice is based on
the principle that justice is best served when there is a balanced
response to the needs of citizens, offenders and victims. It is
based on the assumption that basic multiple community expectations
to feel safe and secure, to ensure that crime is sanctioned,
and to allow for offenders to be reintegrated cannot be effectively
achieved by an insular focus on the needs and risks presented by
offenders. Rather, to meet these needs and repair the harm crime
causes, victim, community and offender must be viewed as clients
of the justice system and must be involved meaningfully as coparticipants
in a holistic justice process.12
In repairing the harm caused by crime, restorative responses necessarily
elevate the role of crime victims in the justice process. Because
victims have been neglected as a client of criminal justice systems,13
much of the literature and practice of restorative justice in the
past decade has focused on victim reparation and involvement. 14
But restorative justice does not pose "victim rights"
against the rights of offenders. Nor does it view advocacy for victims
needs and involvement as a zero-sum game which is incompatible with
a concern with the needs and risks presented by offenders and with
a concern with the general justice needs of communities.15 To date,
however, there has been little specific discussion of the role of
offenders in restorative justice once they have been held accountable
by repairing harm to the victim and victimized community.
Is there a "restorative" approach to offender reintegration,
or would offenders simply be punished and/or provided with standard
correctional treatment? I will argue that restorative justice principles
imply a unique approach to offender rehabilitation that necessarily
involves victim and community, symbolically if not always actively,
in the reintegrative process. This process, that I will refer to
here as "earned redemption,"16 requires a sanctioning
approach that allows offenders to "make amends" to those
they have harmed in order to earn their way back into the trust
of the community.17 To be effective, reintegration ceremonies focused
on earned redemption would also require that rehabilitative efforts
work in close harmony with these sanctioning processes, with efforts
to promote safer communities, and with the efforts to meet the needs
of crime victims. Finally, a process of earned redemption must be
built upon naturalistic, rather than expert-driven processes of
maturation and reintegration in communities.
The primary purpose of this chapter is to explore prospects for
expansion of earned redemption as a restorative justice model of
offender reintegration. In Part I of this paper, I first attempt
to place the reintegration issue in the larger context of restorative
justice as an evolving, emerging movement and paradigm for criminal
and community justice that is primarily distinguished by an emphasis
on the role of victims and communities in the justice process. Part
II describes three general components of a restorative justice model
of reintegration, which give primary emphasis to refocusing criminal
justice sanctions and the sanctioning process. The discussion and
conclusion outlines structural and cultural obstacles to implementing
such an approach in the U.S. and considers a basic strategy for
linking what have thus far been micro-level responses to crime to
the larger task of systemic criminal justice reform.
What Is Restorative Justice?
The restorative justice response to crime can be best described
as a three-dimensional collaborative process. As table 1 illustrates,
this vision is best understood by examining what restorative justice
might "look like" for victim, community, and offender
as coparticipants in this process. For the victim, restorative justice
offers the hope of restitution or other forms of reparation, information
about the case, the opportunity to be heard, and input into the
case as well as expanded opportunities for involvement and influence.
For the community, there is the promise of reduced fear and safer
neighborhoods, a more accessible justice process, and accountability,
as well as the obligation for involvement and participation in sanctioning
crime, reintegrating offenders, and crime prevention and control.
Because crime is viewed as a result of a breakdown in social bonds
that link individuals and communities, and is, in addition, a cause
of a further weakening in these bonds, the "justice" response
to crime at the community level, must also involve citizens and
community groups in repairing damaged relationships or building
new relationships.18 For the offender, restorative justice requires
accountability in the form of obligations to repair the harm to
individual victims and victimized communities, and the opportunity
for to develop new competencies, social skills, and the capacity
to avoid future crime.19
By the standards suggested in Table 1, restorative justice is a
work in progress; no community or justice system is fully "restorative."
While there are many examples of restorative justice practices,
adoption of restorative justice as a systemic philosophy has
What Does it Look Like in a Restorative Justice System:
Receive support, assistance, compensation, information
Receive restitution and/or other reparation from the offender.
Are involved and are encouraged to give input at all points
in the system and direct input into how the offender will repair
the harm done.
Have the opportunity to face the offenders and tell their
story to offenders and others if they so desire.
Feel satisfied with the justice process.
Provide guidance and consultation to justice professionals
on planning and advisory groups.
Complete restitution to their victims.
Provide meaningful service to repay the debt to their
Must face the personal harm caused by their crimes by
participating in victim offender mediation, if the victim is willing
or through other victim awareness process.
Complete work experience and active and productive tasks
which increase skills and improve the community.
Are monitored and supported by community adults as well
as justice professionals and are supervised to the greatest extent
possible in the community.
Improve decisionmaking skills and have opportunities to
Citizens, Families, and Community Groups:
Are involved to the greatest extent possible in holding
offenders accountable, rehabilitation, and community safety initiatives.
Work with offenders on local community service projects.
Provide support to victims.
Provide support to offenders as mentors, employers, and
Provide work for offenders to pay restitution to victims
and service opportunities which provide skills and also allow offenders
to make meaningful contributions to the quality of community life.
Community groups assist families to support the offender
in obligation to repair the harm and increase competencies.
Play an advisory role to courts and corrections and/or
play an active role in disposition through one or more neighborhood
been rare. Moreover, there are already multiple tendencies and
priorities within what might be called a restorative justice "movement"
and several competing philosophical, ideological, and theoretical
themes in the restorative justice literature.20 However, many apparently
new initiatives are actually modern adaptations of ancient settlement
and dispute resolution practices.
The principles and approaches now being referred to as restorative
justice are grounded in ancient codes of conduct and practices have
been at the core of many religious and ethical traditions.21 In
fact, pre-state societies appear to have made use of two primary
responses to crime. The first, based primarily on vengeance, was
associated with repayment of harm with harm.22 In addition, there
were, as Weitekamp argues, in virtually all acephalous societies
a variety of settlement and dispute resolution practices that typically
included some effort to repair the harm, that might today be called
restorative.23 Generally, these practices focused on some form of
repayment or restitution to the victim or his/her family, and indeed,
such reparative practices were formalized and detailed in a variety
of ancient justice documents including:
n The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (c. 1700 BC) prescribed restitution
in property offense cases;
n The Sumerian Code of UrNammu (c. 2060BC) required restitution
even in the case of violent offenses.
n The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables (449 BC) required convicted
thieves to pay double the value of stolen goods, and more if the
thief had concealed the stolen goods in his or her home. The earliest
surviving collection of Germanic tribal laws (the Lex Salica promulgated
by King Clovis soon after his conversion to Christianity in AD 496)
includes restitutionary sanctions for offenses ranging from homicides
to assaults to theft.
n Ethelbert the Anglo-Saxon ruler of Kent, England, issued the
Law of Ethelbert (c. AD600) containing detailed restitution schedules.
For example, the laws differentiated the value of the four front
teeth from those next to them, and those teeth from all the rest.
n The Hebrews, perhaps more than any other ancient people, understood
the importance of peace Shalom - in the community. Shalom meant
much more than "absence of conflict," as many Westerners
understand peace today. Shalom meant completeness, fulfillment,
wholeness - the existence of right relationship among individuals,
the community and God. Shalom described the ideal state in which
a community should function.24
Acephalous societies generally preferred reparative and often ritualistic
responses to crime that sought to restore community peace and harmony
to crime as an alternative to blood feuds which generally had devastating
consequences for community life.25 The emphasis on vengeance later
became more formalized, more predominant, and also moderated somewhat
in the late middle ages as feudal lords and kings consolidated the
response to crime and social control through the power of the state.
Van Ness, et.al. argue that the Norman invasion of Britain marked
the beginning of paradigm shift, a turning away from the understanding
of crime as a victim-offender conflict within the context of community
toward the concept of crime as an offense against the state.26 William
the Conqueror (1066) and his descendants saw the legal process as
one effective tool for centralizing their own political authority.
Eventually, anything that violated the "kings peace"
was interpreted as an offense against the king and offenders were
thus subject to royal authority. Under this new approach, the king,
and gradually "the state," became the paramount victim,
while the actual victim was denied any meaningful place in the justice
process. As this occurred, the emphasis on reparation to crime victims
was gradually replaced with the emphasis on punishment of the wrongdoer
by the state, what is now referred to as "retributive justice."27
Although reparation in the form of restitution and community service
had been used occasionally by U.S. courts in this century,28 these
sanctions did not become widely popular as sentencing options until
the 1970s. Restitution and community service, and to a lesser extent
victim-offender mediation, have been used since the 1970s with some
regularity in U.S. criminal and juvenile courts and are often administered
by probation and community diversion programs.29
The "New" Restorative Justice Movement
In the 1990s, these and other reparative sanctions and processes
are again receiving a high level of interest as part of a broader
movement alternatively labeled restorative justice,30 community
justice,31 and restorative community justice.32 In the U.S., a series
of high-level discussion work group meetings were recently held
within the Office of Justice Programs (U.S. Department of Justice)
at the request of the Attorney General, and restorative justice
has sparked national and international discussion and debate in
the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia and several European countries.33
Restorative justice policies and practices are clearly "on
the ground" in local communities, states, provinces and even
entire countries. In some cases, such as New Zealand, where disposition
of all delinquency cases with the exception of murder and rape are
handled in community family group conferences and the state of Vermont
where most nonviolent felons and misdemeanors are sentenced to make
reparation to the victims by community boards, restorative justice
plays a dominate role in criminal justice policy.34 Significant
state and local impact can also be seen, for example, in Minnesota,
Maine, and other states that have adopted restorative justice as
the mission for their corrections departments. State juvenile justice
systems in Pennsylvania, Florida, New Mexico, Idaho and Montana,
among others, have adopted restorative justice principles in policy
There are no easy explanations for this rise in interest in restorative
justice at a time when criminal justice systems in most states appear
to be embracing a punitive model. However, much of this interest
seems to have emerged during a unique period of convergence between
diverse justice philosophies and political, social, and cultural
movements. Specifically, modern restorative justice appears to have
been directly influenced by: new developments in the victims
rights movement and an expanded role for victims in a community
justice process;36 the community and problem- oriented policing
philosophy and movement;37 and renewed interest in indigenous dispute
resolution, settlement processes, and associated political efforts
(especially in Canada) to "devolve" criminal justice responsibilities
to local communities.38 In addition, the womens movement and
feminist critique of patriarchal justice39 and the growing critique
of both "just deserts" and rights-based, adversarial perspectives,
as well as of social welfare models, in criminal and juvenile justice40
have also affected the evolution of the new restorative justice
Despite these divergent political and cultural influences, restorative
justice seems to be uniting a growing number of community leaders
and justice professionals around an emerging consensus that neither
punitive nor rehabilitation-focused models are meeting the needs
of communities, victims, and offenders. Those familiar with criminal
justice systems know that programs such as restitution and community
service and related reparative sanctions that could be considered
the core of restorative justice intervention are now in common use
by court and correctional agencies throughout the country. In addition,
today a wider "menu" of practices and programs including
family group conferencing (FGC), victim impact panels, and community
sanctioning boards has been added to the core restitution, community
service, and victim-offender mediation options.42
Whats "New?" Programmatic, Systemic and Holistic
While any justice agency can add new programs, programmatic reform
in the absence of change in values and priorities is unlikely to
lead to restorative outcomes. If only 10 percent of offenders are
referred to a courts restitution program, for example, and
similar proportions complete meaningful community service, or meet
with their victims, the jurisdiction can hardly be said to be "restorative."
Although the restorative justice framework has been developed and
refined based on a process of examining innovative programs and
processes such as restitution, community service, victim offender
mediation and FGC rather than through a more deductive process,43
programs are not ends in themselves but simply a means to achieve
outcomes that should flow from a clear understanding of community
and other client needs.44 In most criminal and juvenile justice
systems, staff roles and management imperatives are seldom examined
to ensure that they are driven by these needs and expectations.
The reality, unfortunately, is that in justice systems more concerned
with incapacitation, deterrence, and offender-focused interventions,
restorative practices and programs remain on the margins, and generally
receive low priority. Criminal justice reform is nothing new. However,
as closed-system initiatives, few if any modern reforms have been
spurred by community input but have instead been system-driven,
and often top-down and reactive, responses to crisis and abuse.
Like the treatment and punishment paradigm, on which they are based,
modern reform efforts have been insular and one-dimensional, and
while system-driven, no reform has been truly systemic. While many
modern reforms have brought about well-intended improvements, whether
focused on diversion, deinstiutionalization, case management, detention
crowding, or due process concerns, these reforms share a piecemeal
quality in their focus on one component or system function. Most
criminal justice reforms have sought to rationalize and improve
the structure, process and techniques by which offenders are treated
and punished, but have not questioned why we do so or the nature
of the intervention enterprise. At the end of most reform initiatives,
paid professionals continue to administer treatment, punishment,
and offender surveillance outside the context of the offenders
and victims community. As they fail to address other community
concerns that crime surfaces, it is little wonder that these interventions
often do not mean much to offenders, victims, and other citizens.
Currently, as the left column of Figure 1 suggests, systemic reform
in criminal justice is difficult because decisions about staff roles
what it is that justice
New Paradigms and Systemic Reform
Current Reforms Systemic Reform
Structure Context (Values, Clients/Co-Participants,
Content (Procedures, Paradigm Shift Content (Outcomes, Program
Context Structure (Roles, Staffing, Resource Allocation)
professionals "do" in the response to crime as
well as resource allocation and management approaches, are based
primarily on tradition and the needs of criminal justice bureaucracies
(e.g., for police officers, guards, case workers) and on the current
skills and role definitions of criminal justice professionals. Innovation,
when it occurs, is often based on the addition of specialized units
or programs, and often seems to be driven by the need to be in step
with the "program trend of the month."
What is most "new" and different about restorative justice
theory and practice, however, is its three-part agenda for systemic
reform in the response to crime based on the priority given to repairing
harm, by involving victim, community and offender in the justice
response and attempting to address the diverse justice needs of
communities. First, restorative justice advocates propose broad
changes in the justice process itself which ultimately shifts the
focus more toward community rather than criminal justice system
solutions, and seeks to build capacity in communities to sanction
crime, reintegrate offenders, repair harm to victims, and promote
genuine public safety. In this regard, genuine systemic reform makes
possible a questioning of basic values and assumptions about crime,
as well as the ends and means of the response to it. Systemic reform
initiatives therefore first raise questions about the context of
intervention: what values, principals, and assumptions define the
essence of crime and what should be done about it; who should the
system serve as "clients" and who should be involved in
the response to crime and in making decisions about intervention,
and by what process should these decisions be made (see figure 1).
Second, as the right side of figure 1 suggests, based on the answers
to these questions and an effort to develop intervention aimed at
meeting community needs and expectations, systemic reform would
then seek change in the mission of criminal justice. Such change
would focus on the content of intervention: what goals and performance
outcomes are sought as the justice system seeks to address the needs
of its clients, what messages are to be communicated, and what changes
in clients are to be brought about as a result of intervention;
what methods programs and intervention practices will
be used to accomplish these goals. While current policy is often
program-driven, systemic reform would ensure that program priorities
are value-driven and that practices are selected based on their
capacity to accomplish mission outcomes.
Finally, the choice of intervention priorities should then dictate
the structure of the criminal justice system and thus determine
what staffing patterns, resources, and professional roles are required
to carry out these interventions and accomplish system goals. Hence,
while current policy and reform begins with the current structure
and seeks to make changes in procedure and programs, systemic reform
ends with questions about structure after holistic change in content
and context has been addressed (see Figure 1).
Restorative justice theory45 and practice,46 thus provides a new
vision for a future community justice response to crime based on
a different set of values and principles, focused on the needs of
a different set of clients, involved as participants in a range
of decisions about the most appropriate response to crime. These
new values in turn form the basis for a new mission for management
of criminal justice agencies and systems that articulates a different
set of performance outcomes which gauge the success of an intervention
based on the extent to which measurable changes are brought about
in the status of victim, offender and community as system clients.
These outcomes thus provide the basis for establishing intervention
priorities and initiating new programs (or discontinuing old ones).
Intervention priorities in turn prescribe new roles and responsibilities
for criminal justice professionals in assisting communities in meeting
sanctioning, rehabilitation, public safety, and victim reparation
needs. Differences between these performance outcomes, program priorities,
and system roles and responsibilities as components of the current
and restorative justice missions can be briefly described as follows:
n Different Outcomes: While the ultimate, long-term intervention
goal of most criminal justice systems is reduced recidivism, short-term
objectives are often elusive or limited to incapacitation and provision
of services. In restorative justice, intervention outcomes seek
change not just in offenders, but in each of three clients focused
on healing, repair, reintegration, safety and sense of community.
These outcomes move beyond efforts to punish offenders or deliver
treatment in the traditional sense and are designed to address multiple
justice needs/expectations based on restorative principles. Examples
include: proportion of victims involved in and satisfied with the
justice process; proportion of offenders completing restitution
and community service agreements; number of citizens involved in
crime prevention, sanctioning, offender mentoring and victim services;
reductions in fear of crime and in school violence; and number of
offenders completing work and service experiences and increasing
attachment to conventional groups.
n Different Program Priorities: While there is no single restorative
justice practice or program, accomplishing these objectives assumes
that several programs and practices focused on repairing harm to
the victim, holding offenders accountable, and enhancing public
safely and peacemaking, would get priority under restorative justice.
Restorative programs and practices include a range of interventions
aimed at meeting public safety, sanctioning, and rehabilitative,
as well as victim restoration objectives (see table 2).
n Different Roles for Criminal Justice Professionals and New Organizational
Structures: To ensure that intervention practice is focused on restorative
outcomes and serves and involves three clients in an effort to repair
the harm caused by crime, the role of criminal justice professionals
must change. Rather than simply administer sanctions and services,
the role of professionals in a restorative justice model would focus
primarily on facilitating active citizen involvement in community
justice processes. (see table 3)
Some Restorative Sanctioning Practices
Restitution to Crime Victims: It is important that payment be clearly
linked to the victim, even if it is processed through the court
and that young offenders be provided opportunities to earn funds
to repay victims (e.g., through employment programs).
Victim Offender Mediation: Offenders meet with victims and a third
party mediator to allow the victim to obtain information about the
crime and express feelings to the offender, to develop a reparative
agreement, and to increase offender awareness of the physical, emotional,
and material impact of crime.
Direct Service to Victims: At the victims request (usually
through mediation or other process), offenders are required to perform
Service to Surrogate Victims: Offender work crews (Crime Repair
Crews) repair homes and businesses damaged by break-ins and vandalism.
Restorative Community Service: Work which is valued by the community
and often suggested by neighborhood groups or by crime victims;
such service often helps the disadvantaged, promotes economic development
or improves the general quality of life.
Service Chosen by the Victim: Victims recommend service projects
for offenders as part of a mediation agreement.
Payment to Victim Service Fund: Offenders pay to support victims
services when restitution to their specific victim is not needed.
Victim Impact Statements: With approval from the victim, young offenders
can read victims impact statements or listen to and view audio/video
statements, that tell how the crime detrimentally affected the victim
and his/her loved ones.
Victim/Offender Mediation: A well-planned constructive dialogue
facilitated by a mediator trained in both juvenile justice and victimology
tenets, that can increase victim satisfaction and develop mutually
agreed-upon plans that hold the offender accountable for her/his
Victim Awareness Programs: Incorporate an educational model that
helps youthful offenders understand the impact their crimes have
on their victims, their communities, their families and themselves,
and include crime victims as guest speakers.
Criminal justice professionals cannot begin to change their missions
(outcomes, practices, and management protocols) without a clear
understanding of restorative values, the role of clients/ co-participants,
and the new decisionmaking process needed to gain their input and
participation. These values, participants and processes form the
context for restorative justice reform and are discussed briefly
below before considering the specific issue of offender reintegration.
New Roles in Restorative Justice
Victim Active participation in defining the harm of the crime and
shaping the obligations placed on the offender.
Community Responsible for supporting and assisting victims, holding
offenders accountable, and ensuring opportunities for offenders
to make amends.
Offender Active participation in reparation and competency development.
Juvenile Justice Professionals
Sanctioning Facilitate mediation; ensure that restoration occurs
(by providing ways for offenders to earn funds for restitution);
develop creative and or restorative community service options; engage
community members in the process; educate community on its role.
Rehabilitation Develop new roles for young offenders which allow
them to practice and demonstrate competency; assess and build on
youth and community strengths; develop partnerships.
Public Safety Develop range of incentives and consequences to ensure
offender compliance with supervision objectives; assist school and
family in their efforts to control and maintain offenders in the
community; develop prevention capacity of local organizations.
The Context of Restorative Justice
Viewed through the restorative "lens," crime is understood
in a broader context than what is suggested by the questions of
guilt and what should be done to punish or treat the offender. Howard
Zehr argues that, in restorative justice, three very different questions
receive primary emphasis.47 First, what is the nature of the harm
resulting from the crime? Second, what needs to be done to "make
it right" or repair the harm? Third, who is responsible?
As will be illustrated in the case examples below, questions one
and two are best answered with input from crime victims, citizens
and offenders in a decisionmaking process that maximizes their input
into the case. Answering question number three focuses attention
on the future rather than the past and also sets up a different
configuration of obligations in the response to crime.48 No longer
simply the object of punishment, the offender is now primarily responsible
for repairing the harm caused by her crime. A restorative criminal
justice system would, in turn, be responsible for ensuring that
the offender is held accountable for the damage and suffering caused
to victims and victimized communities by supporting, facilitating,
and enforcing reparative agreements. But, most importantly, the
community plays a critical role in setting the terms of accountability.49
The need to engage and involve communities in the response to crime
is based on an implicit, and sometimes explicit, critique of the
ability of the formal justice system and the capacity of criminal
justice professionals to address the needs of those most adversely
affected by crime. As Judge Barry Stuart notes:
Crime (control and prevention) should never be the sole, or even
primary business of the State if real differences are sought in
the well being of individuals, families and communities. The structure,
procedures, and evidentiary rules of the formal criminal justice
process coupled with most justice officials lack of knowledge
and connection to (the parties) effected by crime, preclude the
state from acting alone to achieve transformative changes.50 (Emphasis
This assumed incompetence of the formal justice system and the
need for a different set values, a different sense of the coparticipants
in the justice process, and better ways to involve them in decisionmaking
processes is best seen by examining the experience of these coparticipants
in two cases.
Recently, in a large city a 32 year-old man entered the home of
a neighbor, and walked upstairs into the bedroom of her 14 year-old
daughter. For almost an hour, the man made lewd and offensive comments
while sitting on the girls bed. After the man had been arrested
and charged, the young woman and her mother were asked by the court
to complete a victim impact statement. Except for a brief moment
when the man had lightly stroked her hair, she had not been physically
molested by the intruder. Yet, the young girl had felt traumatized
and "dirtied" by the fact that the man had sat on her
bed. After talking at length with her mother, the two decided that
what the girl most needed was a new bed. The victim impact statement
submitted asked for $500 in restitution from the offender to cover
the cost of the bed, an apology, and a recommendation for a year
of therapy and other assistance for the offender. The judge ordered
12 months jail time and a $500 fine, but payable to the court.
In a small town in the same state, a 14-year-old male, after pointing
a loaded gun (which was actually a BB rifle) at a neighbor, was
arrested, charged with second degree assault with a deadly weapon,
and taken juvenile court intake in the small town where he resided.
The neighbor, an adult male of about 35 who had been so frightened
and upset by the incident that he insisted the case be fully prosecuted,
was reluctantly persuaded to participate with the offender in a
victim offender mediation session. At the session, after venting
his anger and frustration at being startled with the loaded weapon,
the victim learned that the boy liked to hunt. When he asked in
the mediation session whom the boy hunted with and learned that
it was his grandfather, an idea emerged that he would later propose
when it was time to discuss an appropriate sanction. The outcome
of the mediation was that, at the victims request, the boy
would be required to tell his grandfather what he had done. After
several days of reluctant hesitation, the boy told his grandfather
and so informed the victim.
Retributive and Restorative Justice
The experiences in each case were dramatically different for the
offender, the victim, and even the community. Most audiences who
have heard the young mans story believe that he learned an
important lesson (and did not get off easy) and that the victim
was satisfied. Moreover, some have observed that the small community
may have witnessed an important example of how a dispute that might
otherwise have created a serious offense record for the youth, wasted
court time, provided little relief to the victim, and created fear
in the community of "armed and dangerous" juveniles could
be effectively resolved. In the first case, most agree that the
victim was ignored and again victimized, that the offender got no
treatment and might even have been more dangerous at the completion
of his jail time, and that the community paid the cost of the jail
term while receiving little in return.
Most who hear the young girls story are also upset with the
judge in the first case for ignoring the victims request.
But while the conversion of the victims request for restitution
into a court fine seems especially insensitive, the judge was merely
operating on the basis of the assumptions of the current system
of justice decisionmaking. Referred to by some as a retributive
justice paradigm,51 these assumptions result in the exclusion and
disempowerment of victims, offenders and other citizens and, in
part, are responsible for the general absence in most criminal justice
systems of the co-participant involvement depicted earlier in Table
1. Although these cases are not necessarily typical, the experiences
of victim, offender, and community parallel those that occur daily
in criminal justice agencies everywhere. In addition, the contrast
between them provides a useful illustration of how client needs
are not addressed effectively by an approach to dispositional decisionmaking
that is limited by rigid, rule-driven, impersonal procedures focused
on defining "winners and losers" and fixing blame52 (see
Paradigms of Justice: Old and New *
Crime and Reaction
Retributive Justice Restorative Justice
Crime is an act against state, a violation of law, Crime is an
act against another person.
community or an abstract idea.
Punishment alone is not effective in
Punishment is effective. changing behavior disruptive to community
a. The threat of punishment deters crime.
b. Punishment changes behavior. Crime control lies primarily in
The criminal justice system controls crime.
Victims and Community
Retributive Justice Restorative Justice
Victims are peripheral to the process. Victims are central to the
Community on sideline, represented abstractly Community as facilitator
by state. process.
Imposition of pain to punish and deter/prevent. Restitution as
a means of restoring both
parties; goal of reconciliation/restoration.
Retributive Justice Restorative Justice
Offender accountability defined as taking Accountability defined
punishment. responsibility and taking action to repair
The offender is defined by deficits.
The offender is defined by the capacity to
No encouragement for repentance and make reparation.
*Adapted from Zehr (1990)
New Coparticipants and Restorative Processes
Crime victim needs are especially likely to be overlooked unless
victims are given a direct voice in decisionmaking. What is most
unique about the restorative justice value-base, and most difficult
for many criminal justice professionals to accept, is its expansion
of the role of crime victims in the justice process. Although victims
rights have received increased attention throughout criminal justice
systems in most states, victim needs are often addressed only after
the needs of police, judges, prosecutors, and corrections staff
(e.g., in winning cases, processing offenders, or managing resources)
have been considered. Despite frequent complaints about the inability
of offenders to pay victim restitution, for example, many jurisdictions
which do a poor job at enforcing restitution orders have been highly
successful in the collection of offender fines and fees.53 Indeed,
in many probation and parole agencies, victim compensation and restitution
have taken a back seat to the collection of monies used to support
criminal justice agency functions.54 Moreover, while prosecutors
appear to spare no expense and effort to gain victim input for efforts
to increase the probability of conviction and length of sentence,
time and resources for providing victim services, mediation, and
reparative programs seem always in short supply.55 Because years
of focus on the needs and risks of offenders means that victims
do not start from a "level playing field," justice professionals
and citizens moving toward a restorative justice approach are giving
primary attention to victims needs for physical and material
reparation and emotional healing.56 When actively engaged, victims
often express unique concerns and interests which are frequently
unrelated to offender punishment, or even the need for material
...I can tell you that what most victims want most is quite unrelated
to the law. It amounts more than anything else to three things:
victims need to have people recognize how much trauma theyve
been through...they need to express that, and have it expressed
to them; they want to find out what kind of person could have done
such a thing, and why to them; and it really helps to hear that
the offender is sorry or that someone is sorry on his or
While it places central emphasis on victim needs and the requirement
that offenders are held accountable to victims, the restorative
justice paradigm also responds to the "mutual powerlessness"
of offenders and victims in the current system and assumes the need
for communities to provide opportunities for offender repentance
and forgiveness following appropriate sanctioning.58 Restorative
processes, whose potential benefits to each co-participant are illustrated
by the first case, work best when there is active participation
of victim, offender and community. They, therefore, demand opportunities
for such participation that are sensitive to and supportive of victim
and citizen needs. Although court proceedings with some flexible
discretion by judges and other court decision makers could accommodate
some of the changes needed to increase such active involvement,
critics of the formal, retributive justice structure agree that
minor changes in the court process will be insufficient to alter
the current focus of these insular systems that have proved themselves
inadequate to the task.59 Achieving restorative goals and the general
vision of restorative justice is therefore likely to require expanded
use of nonadversarial and less formal community decision making
alternatives that allow for greater and more meaningful involvement
of citizens and victims in decisions about the response to those
who commit crimes and rely heavily on informal conflict resolution
based on dialogue and negotiation. Table 5 suggests some promising
existing models for victim and citizen participation in decision
making. In the past five years, an explosion of interest in these
new models has been a major catalyst behind support for restorative
Restorative Justice, Reintegration, and Earned Redemption
n In inner-city Pittsburgh, young offenders in an intensive day
treatment program solicit input from community organizations about
service projects the organizations would like to see completed in
the neighborhood. The offenders then work with community residents
on projects that include home repair and gardening for the elderly,
voter registration drives, painting homes and public buildings,
and planting and cultivating community gardens.
Some Restorative Decisionmaking Processes
Victim Offender Mediation - Trained mediators facilitate
face-to-face discussion between offender and victim to allow for
expression of feelings, discussion of harm and obligation, and arrive
at agreement with offender to repair the harm.
Family Group Conferencing - Allows for community, victim
and family input into the development of a restorative sanction
for juvenile offenders in a process initiated by a trained facilitator.
Circle Sentencing - A sentencing and problem-solving process
currently being implemented in Canada facilitated by a judge or
community member and attended by victim, offenders and a variety
of local citizens who support both and wish to develop a local resolution
of the crime.
Community Reparative Boards - Currently being implemented
in Vermont, these citizen sentencing panels develop agreements with
nonfelony offenders that focuses their probation on victim and community
reparation, understanding of harm caused by their crime, avoiding
future offending behavior.
Reparative Court Hearings - Though best implemented in an informal
community setting, some judges hold special hearings to determine
victim reparation as a separate part of the dispositional process
n In South Florida, youthful offenders, sponsored by the Florida
Department of Juvenile Justice and supervised by The 100 Black Men
of Palm Beach County, Inc., plan and execute projects that serve
a shelter for the care and treatment of abused, abandoned, and HIV
positive/AIDS infected infants and children.
n In cities and towns in Pennsylvania, Montana and Minnesotaas
well as in Australia and New Zealandfamily members and other
citizens acquainted with an offender or victim of a juvenile crime
gather to determine what should be done in response to the offense.
Often held in schools, churches or other community-based facilities,
these Family Group Conferences are facilitated by a Community Justice
Coordinator or Police Officer, and are aimed at ensuring that offenders
are made to hear community disapproval of their behavior, that an
agreement for repairing the damage to victim and community is developed
and a plan for reintegrating the offender is designed and executed.
n In Cleveland, ex-offenders mentoring young offenders in juvenile
justice programs work with chores and faith communities to provide
shopping and support services for the home-bound elderly.
n In Minnesota, Department of Corrections staff collaborate with
local police and citizens groups to establish FGC programs and ways
to inform the community about and involve them in offender monitoring
and victim support. In Dakota County, a Minneapolis suburb, local
retailers and senior citizens whose businesses and homes have been
damaged by burglary or vandalism call a crime repair "hotline"
to request a work crew of probationers to repair the damage.
n In secure facilities for young offenders operated by the California
Youth Authority, crime victims organize victim awareness training
and crime impact panels designed to sensitize offenders to the personal
harm resulting from their crimes.
n In Deschutes County, Oregon, juvenile offender work crews cut
and deliver firewood to senior citizens and recently worked with
a local contractor to build a homeless shelter.
n In the city of Whitehorse, Yukon and other Canadian towns and
villages, First Nation as well as non-aboriginal citizens sit sometimes
for hours in a circle listening to offenders, victims, their advocates
and other community members speak about the impact of crimes. When
the feather or "Talking Stick" is passed to them and it
is their turn to speak without being interrupted, they may comment
favorably on rehabilitative efforts already begun by the offender,
who may be a chronic and sometimes violent perpetrator well known
to the community. Speakers in these Circle Sentencing (CS) sessions
also express concerns for the victim or the continuing threat posed
by the offender and, at the end of the session, attempt to come
to consensus about a rehabilitative plan for the offender and an
approach to healing victim and the community.
n In several Montana cities, college students and other young adult
"core members" in the Montana Conservation Corps supervise
juvenile offenders on environmental restoration, trail building
and other community service projects and also serve as mentors to
one or more of the young offenders.
What do these examples have to do with reintegration or rehabilitation?
Very little, if the reference is to most treatment programs in most
criminal justice systems in the U.S. While it is possible to find
similar activities in various locations around the world, those
interventions are viewed by many justice professionals and
most correctional program staff as "side shows."
They are clearly not viewed as part of the rehabilitative agenda
of most courts and corrections agencies.
Yet, these case studies contain at least some of the seeds of a
new way of thinking about rehabilitation and reintegration that
is focused less on treating offenders than on building communities;
less on new treatment programs and more on institutional reform
to promote youth development; less on counseling to improve self-image
and more on changing the public image of people in trouble who have
earned their way back into the community; less on criminal justice
"experts" and more on building connections between offenders
and community residents. The value of restorative justice to victims
and communities goes well beyond the primary concern of this paper
with meaningful offender reintegration. In addition, the current
climate of "get tough" responses to crime provides few
opportunities for meaningful discussion of offender reintegration
and acceptance, whether or not it is earned. The principles of restorative
justice, however, provide some hope for promoting a new way of thinking
about both sanctioning and reintegration that make possible, and
even encourage, offender repentance, and begin to create cultural
prototypes for community reacceptance of offenders who have "made
amends" for the harm they have caused.
Forgiveness has been an important concept implicit in much restorative
writing, and explicit in some.60 However, forgiveness has become
an unpopular term in the crime victims' movement because it has
been identified with an overt or implied coercion of victims to
forgive the offender and a suggestion that those who do not, or
cannot, are less worthy of justice system concern and support.61
But while reintegration through earned redemption does not imply
any obligation on the part of victims, it does imply some tradition
of societal mercy and some basic level of community capacity to
forgive, if not to forget, the actions of offenders once they have
made reparation to individual victims and victimized publics.62
Hence, rather than look to correctional programs or treatment models,
this concern with "earned redemption" suggests that it
is more important to look to community dynamics and the link between
communities, crime, sanctioning and public safety.
Partly because of the emphasis in restorative justice practice
and literature on the victim-offender dyad,63 the community role
as coparticipant in restorative processes has been the least well
developed. The role of the community in offender reintegration,
and in a sanctioning process consistent with reintegrative efforts,
is the cornerstone of a theory of restorative rehabilitation. Increasing
the capacity of community groups and institutions to demonstrate
collective mercy and develop strategies to reintegrate offenders
who have earned their way back into the "good graces"
of the community is thus a major agenda for restorative justice
Crime, Social Relationships, and Theories of Reintegration
Because restorative justice ideas have in fact emerged "from
the field," it has been said that the restorative framework
is largely practice in search of a theory of crime. But while restorative
practice is not associated with a specific etiological perspective,
restorative justice principles are consistent with several traditions
in criminological theory.64 At the macro level, ecological theories
of community and crime focus on the relationship between structure
and culture as manifested in social disorganization and the inability
of informal controls to limit deviant behavior.65 Of special salience
here are emerging attempts to develop a theory of neighborhood "collective
efficacy" based on recent research conducted in Chicago.66
This research, which compared crime rates in some of that city's
poorest neighborhoods, found significant differences in crime rates
between neighborhoods virtually identical in income and ethnic composition.
This finding led the study's authors to conclude that the level
of community organization and mutual support was the primary factor
in low crime rates. Specifically, differences in the willingness
of neighbors to support other families and to intervene in the lives
of children were shown to characterize low crime neighborhoods.
It is in this emphasis on crime as both a cause and result of weak
or damaged relationships between community members that restorative
justice may have the most to offer in reconceptualizing current
approaches to intervention with both victims and offenders.
At the micro level, social control perspectives67 emphasize the
importance of the "bond" individuals have to conventional
groups. This bond can in turn be viewed as culturally and structurally
fixed in the roles individuals assume in the context of socializing
institutions (e.g., family, work, school) and it is these roles
that account for informal constraints on deviant behavior. Such
constraints are based on affective ties to significant others (teachers,
parents), as well as on a more rational "stake in conformity"
that limits individual involvement in crime by the risk criminal
behavior poses to the future legitimate opportunities.68 These constraints
may in turn be weakened by the stigmatizing and isolating nature
of current justice responses, or they may be strengthened by responses
which sanction crime in a way that strengthens relationships between
victim, offender, and community.
For those concerned with correctional intervention to rehabilitate
offenders, a focus on strengthening this bond can also inform a
reintegrative strategy. At a more intermediate, interactional level
of analysis, consistent with social learning theories such as differential
association,69 the restorative justice response to crime seeks to
mobilize intimates and "communities of concern"70 around
the offender to promote resolution, restitution, or other informal
settlement. Such informal processes may be the first step in what
some have labeled "reintegration ceremonies."71 Such ceremonies
are clearly distinguished from the "status degradation ceremonies"
of the formal court process and the isolation of experienced by
offenders in retributive processes,72 which, consistent with the
insights of societal reaction and labeling perspectives, are often
said to be criminogenic.73
Against this theoretical backdrop, the restorative view of crime
and community can be understood with reference to a familiar cycle
of crime, fear, withdrawal, isolation, weakened community bonds,
and more crime.74 This sequence provides an important key to thinking
about patterns of crime, community dynamics, and the reaction to
offenders75 and about the capacity of community norms and tolerance
limits to control harmful behavior and to reinforce law-abiding
behavior. The more connected community members are, the more likely
they are to restrain criminal impulses. As community bonds are weakened,
the power of community disapproval as a force restraining crime
Crime harms victims, communities, offenders, other citizens, and
in essence damages the social fabric and peace of communities.76
While it is impossible to say which comes first, citizens, crime
victims, offenders are caught up in a cycle in which crime is both
a cause of breakdowns in individual and community relationships,
and a result of these breakdowns. One of the most basic themes in
restorative justice is the need to strengthen or rebuild social
and community relationships.77 Restorative justice responses to
crime attempt to break into the cycle of crime, fear and weakened
relationships, and in so doing offer a holistic approach to addressing
the sanctioning, safety, preventative, peacemaking, and rehabilitative
needs of communities.
At the community level, a restorative response to crime seeks first
to build and strengthen relationships by increasing the nature and
quality of participation in problem solving and the response to
crime and conflict. From this perspective, the general health of
a community and its crime rate is directly related
to the extent to which citizens participate in the community:
When citizens fail to assume responsibility for decisions effecting
the community, community life will be characterized by the absence
of a collective sense of caring, a lack of respect for diverse values,
and ultimately a lack of any sense of belonging. Conflict, if resolved
through a process that constructively engages the parties involved,
can be a fundamental building ingredient in any relationship.78
Since the root of crime is community conflict and disharmony, "justice"
cannot be achieved by a government "war on crime" but
rather by peacemaking, and dispute resolution.79 In this sense,
crime, or any conflict, is viewed as an opportunity because it calls
attention to social conditions that cause conflict and provides
a chance for the community to affirm its values and tolerance limits.80
Implicit in restorative justice is the assumption that as communities
practice resolving disputes creatively, their capacity to do so
also increases. The process of resolving conflict is therefore as
important as the specific outcome in each case because, through
this process, community members are believed to learn new skills
and to increase confidence in their ability to manage conflict and
to control/prevent crime in the future. For their part, when they
facilitate or contribute to these processes, justice professionals
get closer to the root causes of crime and are less likely to reach
beyond their competence.81
If communities and justice professionals can learn how to resolve
conflict, they can also learn how to reintegrate offenders. As is
the case with conflict resolution, a restorative approach to rehabilitation
is based on the general idea of building, or rebuilding relationships.
At the individual level, if crime is viewed as the result of weak
bonds, a relational rehabilitation must be focused primarily on
strengthening the offenders ties or bonds to conventional
adults and peers, and on changing the offenders view of law-abiding
citizens and the community. At the community level, intervention
to strengthen bonds must focus on changing citizens views
of offenders and on increasing the willingness and capacity of community
groups to take responsibility for integration and reintegration,
as well as for informal sanctioning and social control.82
In the case of delinquent young people, the intervention approach
to achieve rehabilitation, integration, and habilitation would have
the primary objective of strengthening bonds to conventional groups
and would, as in conventional maturation processes, be centered
around developing and enhancing youth/adult relationships. From
a restorative perspective, this would begin with the small "communities
of concern"83 around the offender and branch outward as the
offender increases her/his ability to build and manage relationships
and strengthen both affective and rational ties to conventional
adults and adult institutions. The broader relational rehabilitation
"project" would then be focused on a community and institutional
learning process by which members practice, create and replicate
models of offender reintegration.
It goes almost without saying that the criminal and juvenile justice
systems were not set up to support or enhance this kind of relationship-building.
Rather than strengthen bonds between offenders and community groups,
correctional treatment programs are individualistic interventions
designed to "cure" psychological problems or remediate
presumed deficits. Based on an individual treatment, or "medical
model," paradigm that generally locates the cause of crime
and delinquency in individual offenders, this approach is theoretically
and practically insular and one-dimensional.
At best, treatment programs may seek to influence family dynamics
but often with little or no theoretical guidance about how
and why the family intervention effort is in any way related to
the offenders behavior.84 For the most part, treatment programs
are decontextualized attempts to address the offenders thinking
and behavior in settings isolated from crime victims and victimized
communities, in which the real harm that resulted in the offenders
criminal justice involvement is no longer viewed as relevant. Juvenile
justice interventions, for example, target individual youth rather
than adults and adult institutions for change and fail to address
the role of relationships, group conflict, and institutional and
community processes in crime causation.85 Moreover, such interventions
do not take account of how these factors may either promote or hinder
rehabilitation. By promoting an implicit view of habilitation and
rehabilitation as something that happens in treatment programs,
the treatment model also fails to build on naturally occurring supports
that may enhance positive relationships and bonds with conventional
community adults.86 The insular focus on offender deficits and disturbances
also supports a closed-system of intervention outcomes which are
effectively limited to successful adjustment and accommodation to
the regime of treatment programs87 and which define success almost
exclusively in terms of process measures (e.g., number of clients
served, number of program graduates, successful program completion),
rather than outcomes relevant to reintegration.88 Finally, treatment
programs have increasingly taken responsibility away from communities
and the socializing institutions (e.g., schools & work) that
serve them. In reinforcing the value of treatment "experts"
and highly specialized services, while downplaying the role of nonprofessionals,
treatment programs distance the rehabilitative enterprise from communities
and the real people in them.
The one-dimensionality of current rehabilitative approaches is
also a result of compartmentalizing treatment programs, and thus
removing them from the context of other essential functions of criminal
justice, and from the justice expectations and needs of communities.
Although, according to recent surveys, communities and most citizens
support a rehabilitative agenda,89 they also expect "justice"
systems and agencies to do more than treat offenders. While juvenile
justice professionals in particular speak in great detail about
the treatment needs of offenders and about programs which allegedly
meet these needs, they are seldom able to articulate what sanctions
are being imposed on the offender and what is being done to protect
the community. Should communities be expected to support interventions
that appear to provide only a benefit to the offender, especially
when sanctions and public safety issues seem to be ignored?90 As
Braithwaite & Mugford suggest:
Worse still, we fear that even when something does work, it is
seen to do so only in the eyes of certain professionals, while outside
the system ordinary citizens are left without a role or voice in
the criminal justice process.91
In moving beyond the closed-system approach to rehabilitation,
a relational approach would need to challenge the insularity and
one-dimensionality of both the retributive and the individual treatment/social
welfare model of correctional programs. While there are also broader
social and economic justice, youth advocacy, and institutional reform
issues that would need to be addressed in a complete model of offender
rehabilitation,92 criminal justice issues from a restorative perspective
focus on the immediate need to build or rebuild relationships between
offenders and their communities. This requires attention to three
theoretical projects and collateral policy initiatives which flow
rather naturally from restorative justice principles. These principles
present a potential challenge to current rehabilitation models,
and form the basic components of a new approach to reintegration.93
Toward Integration and Resonance
First, if there is to be a restorative justice "theory"
of reintegration, it must therefore include a concern with the extent
to which community and victim are meaningfully engaged in a more
integrated justice process and the extent to which key community
needs other than the need for offender rehabilitation are addressed.
An underlying premise of restorative justice is the idea that offenders
are not well served when the needs of victims and community are
neglected and when these two coparticipants are not in some way
involved in the process. More than this, the logical and theoretical
assumptions of restorative justice suggest that it is difficult
to effectively address the needs of any one juvenile justice client
without involving and addressing the needs of the other two. For
example, from a restorative perspective, important first steps in
an offenders rehabilitative or reintegrative process include
a feeling of shame or remorse and an effort to make amends;94 the
voluntary involvement of victims and community to the greatest extent
possible in holding the offender accountable is an important component
of this process. Similarly, to make progress toward healing and
restoration, many victims rely on the reparative actions of offenders
and the community, to provide restitution, acknowledge their suffering,
provide information and support, and express apology and remorse.
When justice is viewed as repairing the harm, and rebuilding damaged
relationships, the response to crime must attend to all of those
damaged by the crime.
Second, neither treating nor punishing offenders will make communities
safe. Nor do these responses meet public demands to censure crime,
affirm and enforce tolerance limits, provide consequences for crime,
and effectively reintegrate lawbreakers. Practically speaking, citizens
are less likely to support the idea of reintegration and rehabilitation
until sanctioning needs and public safety concerns have been addressed.
When these needs are addressed in an integrated way, efforts to
sanction crime, manage risks, and reintegrate offenders become mutually
interdependent, and they may be viewed as means toward the ends
of repairing harm to victims, offenders, and communities and hopefully
facilitating transformative changes in each.95 For example, when
offenders are sanctioned by repairing harm to victims, they stand
a better chance of preserving and enhancing their own human dignity,
a necessary prerequisite for rehabilitation. Sanctions which degrade
and isolate the offender, on the other hand, weaken bonds which
foster reintegration and ultimately heighten risks to public safety.
Similarly, efforts to reintegrate or sanction offenders that do
not explicitly attend to public safety concerns of the community
can never win public support or create a climate in which victim
needs can be meaningfully addressed. At a minimum, in restorative
justice there should be compatibility or "resonance" between
sometimes disparate efforts to address these primary justice needs
of communities. 96
Third, to effectively meet the needs of the three coparticipants
in crime and give them a voice and role in the response to crime,
restorative justice calls for a more informal, naturalistic response
that emphasizes the role of citizens, community groups, and socializing
institutions.97 A relational approach to rehabilitation cannot be
clinical in its focus, but must instead emphasize community socialization
networks and naturally occurring processes in its analysis of how
most delinquents grow up to be normal, productive adults. Young
people in the juvenile and criminal justice systems share with many
other young people a lack of a sense of usefulness and belonging,
or "connectedness." Because they, unlike most adults,
do not hold positions of responsibility in work, community, or family
groups which allow them to make meaningful contributions, many young
people become marginal commodities, or even liabilities, in a society
where status is largely determined by ones productive participation
in the economy. Those youth who lack the clear promise of future
access to meaning full adult roles which success in school may provide
have little to lose by delinquent and other forms of deviant behavior;
the "stake" in conventional behavior is low and "bonds"
to conventional social groups are weak.98
Completing treatment programs does not solve these problems of
connectedness and lack of legitimate identity of young offenders.
While treatment programs may be helpful, being "drug free,"
for example, does not give young offenders the skills needed for
access to those roles (in work, family & community) that provide
law-abiding adults with a stake in conformity. A restorative approach
to rehabilitation would seek to enhance those competencies which
help young offenders develop positive relationships with conventional
adults, and would seek to increase the capacity of adults and adult
organizations to allow young offenders to demonstrate competency
by creating new roles for youth to contribute productively to their
communities. Increasing vocational, educational, social and interpersonal
and decisionmaking competencies, for example, is best accomplished
through an effort to provide young offenders access to roles which
engage them experientially in productive activities including work,
community service, and conflict resolution. Policy and intervention
strategy must then build upon and seek to enhance the capacity of
both socializing institutions such as school and work, as well as
informal networks and processes to support reintegration.
Elsewhere I have addressed this third component of an approach
to offender reintegration based on restorative justice and youth
development principles in a more comprehensive way.99 The remainder
of this chapter therefore focuses primarily on the first and second
theoretical projects. To do so, I address need for a new approach
to sanctioning, and an integration of sanctioning and rehabilitation
functions as a means of improving the prospects for "earned
redemption." Because sanctioning offenders has so commonly
been thought of only in terms of the narrow objectives of "just
punishment," or as Christie suggests, to cause pain
to the offender,100 it is especially important to think about
the resonance, or lack of it, between sanctioning and rehabilitative
interventions. "Project One," the focus on the needs and
involvement of victims, offenders, and community in all interventions,
is incorporated in this discussion.
Punishment, by stigmatizing, humiliating and isolating the offender,
may have a counter-deterrent effect by minimizing prospects that
the offender may gain or regain self-respect and the respect of
the community.101 Ironically, punishment often encourages lawbreakers
to focus on themselves rather than the person they harmed as the
victim102 and may undermine self-restraint by attenuating natural
feelings of shame and a sense of morality103 while weakening community
bonds by damaging family, peer, and other adult relationships.104
Although the current trends in most of the world (and certainly
in the U.S.) seems to be to move more in the direction of punitive
sanctions that maximize harm to the offender,105 the continuum of
possible sanctions ranges from those intended primarily to threaten
or harm offenders (and would be offenders), which generally emphasize
incarceration, to other approaches which may build community solidarity
and commitment and ultimately strengthen the bonds between offenders
and community members.
As Herbert Packer argued in his now classic discussion of this
topic, depending on intent sanctions can be directed toward compensatory,
deterrent, regulatory, and rehabilitative ends, as well as retributive
punishment.106 Although few question the inevitability of some punishment
or deny that any sanction may be experienced by the offender as
punitive, it is possible to consider and give priority to different
sanctioning objectives in the response to crime. In recent years
a number of scholars have challenged the effectiveness of retributive
punishment and argued that sanctions may also serve important expressive,
educative, and symbolic functions.107 Quoting Durkheim, for example,
Braithwaite highlights the role of sanctioning in moral education
and underscores the limitations of punishment aimed only at threats
and offender suffering:
Since punishment is reproaching, the best punishment is that which
puts the blame... in the most expressive but least expensive way
possible... It is not a matter of making him suffer... or as if
the essential thing were to intimidate and terrorize. Rather it
is a matter of reaffirming the obligation at the moment when it
is violated, in order to strengthen the sense of duty, both for
the guilty party and for those witnessing the offense - those whom
the offense tends to demoralize.108
From this perspective, expressive sanctioning aimed at communicating
value-based messages to offenders and the community and affirming
obligations and accountability should be more effective in regulating
conduct and more likely to promote community solidarity and peaceful
dispute resolution.109 Although punitive sanctions may detract from
the accomplishment of both reparative and rehabilitative goals,
if intended to educate, sanctions can, as Durkheim pointed out,
reinforce obligation and responsibility, and provide an understanding
of the suffering caused to other individuals that resulted from
an offenders crime.110 Such a sense of obligation, as modern
communitarians would argue, can strengthen bonds and reinforce a
sense of justice.111 From a restorative perspective, sanctioning
should be first focused on repairing the harm to victims and the
community, and in so doing, allowing communities an outlet for symbolic,
collective denunciation of crime, as well as the affirmation of
tolerance limits.112 But while sanctions are intrusive and coercive
and should not be disguised as "treatment," the sanctioning
process has important implications for any rehabilitative approach.
When carried out based on restorative principles, sanctions may
themselves have rehabilitative impact.
The Rehabilitative Potential of Sanctions
A growing body of empirical research is supportive of the rehabilitative
value of reparative restitution, community service and other restorative
sanctions and processes.113 Some studies suggest that rehabilitative
impact is increased when reparative sanctions are viewed by the
offender as fair and when they are truly victim-focused.114 Restitution,
community service, and related reparative requirements such as victim
awareness training, especially when reinforced with victim offender
mediation, can be high on the educative scale.115 According to one
study, completing restitution and community service was found to
be associated with enhanced feelings of citizenship and community
commitment.116 At the top of a continuum of least to most educative
sanctioning responses are settlement or dispute resolution processes
in which the offender also learns important competencies which are
transferable to a variety of settings. Such learning is heightened
and the rehabilitative power of sanctions enhanced, according to
"affect" theorists,117 in processes which allow for emotional
content and expression. Though too infrequently utilized in Western
societies, such processes may enhance offender relationships in
employment and other roles, while also providing essential competencies
needed to prevent violent resolution of future conflicts.118
Unfortunately, reparative sanctions have been criticized unfairly
by a group of treatment researchers119 who have for the most part
ignored, misread, or misinterpreted positive (or at least encouraging)
findings from experimental and other empirical studies of the impact
of restitution and community service as well as promising results
on victim offender mediation, victim impact panels, family group
conferences and related interventions.120 A major distortion of
this critique has been a tendency to portray all sanctions as negative
and as detracting from the reintegrative process,121 and a failure
to distinguish theoretically and empirically between sanctions with
reparative focus and aim such as victim restitution and restorative
community service, and sanctions with solely punitive or deterrent
In their list of programs that do not work, for example, Krisberg,
Currie and Onek122 reinforce this tendency by including restitution
and community service along with "shock incarceration,"
"Scared Straight," and Boot Camps in a category
of interventions they conclude are ineffective, and possibly harmful.
But sanctions that reinforce and affirm values about obligations
to others and provide benefit to the community do not detract from
rehabilitative goals, and it seems foolish at best not to consider
the possibility that such sanctions could have independent rehabilitative
impact. Are we to believe that meeting with ones victim, paying
restitution, or completing community service is as demeaning, stigmatizing,
and humiliating as being forced to clean toilets in a Boot Camp?
Does community service in which youth work with adults to build
a community shelter for abused women123 provide the same experience
as a chain gang?
Being required to face ones victim or face the community
and work to repair the harm caused by ones crime may well
be tougher and more painful for offenders than standard punishments
focused on incarceration.124 But, in lumping such dramatically different
sanctions as Boot Camps and restitution together and discounting
the contextual importance of the sanctioning function, critics ignore
the intent of sanctions and reinforce by default the one-dimensional
approach to rehabilitation. Most important, politically, they strengthen
the hands of those policymakers promoting truly harmful, retributive
sanctions. In the absence of an alternative sanctioning model,125
treatment is in any case most likely to be used as an add-on to
destructive punishments whose impact is likely to counter any possible
Advocates of restorative justice would not claim that reparative
sanctions are rehabilitative panaceas. No one should expect dramatic
reductions in recidivism as a result of exposure to restitution,
community service, mediation or any other programs in isolation,
and too often many of the most promising restorative sanctioning
programs have been poorly implemented.126 Yet, despite the unfounded
dismissal of the idea of sanctions as potentially rehabilitative,
a number of restorative sanctions are gaining popularity precisely
because they are assumed to be good for the offender, and increasingly,
this assumption is being supported by emerging theory and research.
In addition to Schneiders empirical work on equity theory
and processes, which appears to establish a link between completion
of reparative sanctions and reduced recidivism among delinquent
offenders,127 there are recent promising findings and theory on
the rehabilitative impact of community service.128 When integrated
into a comprehensive and holistic reintegrative strategy, such sanctions
reinforce, and according to available studies, are likely to increase
the rehabilitative impact of other interventions. When implemented
in a way that also begins with an acknowledgment of harm to victims,
actively involves community members in sanctioning aimed at holding
the offender accountable to the victim, and engages a support group
for the offender (and the victim), such sanctions can also be a
natural first step in a reintegrative process to reintegrate offenders.129
Sanctioning and Reintegrative Process
When community people have input into who is accepted into a community
sentencing process, they dont just pick the "cream puffs"...
they pick the guys who have been wreaking the most havoc on them
for years. (Judge Barry Stuart)
Equally, if not more important than the actual sanction of restitution,
victim service or community service, however, is the process by
which these sanctions are meted out to offenders. So vital is the
nature of the decisionmaking process in restorative justice, in
fact, that some proponents argue that process and outcome are not
easily separated. Following the logic of Aboriginal and indigenous
settlement traditions, the argument suggests that simply "making
connections" and hearing the voices of those with an interest
in the crime in a respectful way is itself a positive outcome; in
an effective process, solutions or outcomes are said to take care
An underlying assumption of restorative justice now being more
frequently discussed is that sanctioning processes are more likely
to enhance rehabilitative/reintegration when they involve family,
victims and key members of the offenders community directly
in the process.131 In this regard, perhaps the most promising potential
bridge between sanctioning and rehabilitation in restorative justice
practice has been the proliferation of new community decisionmaking
models such as family group counseling (FGC), circle sentencing,
citizen boards, and various extensions of victim-offender mediation
and victim-offender dialogue.132 The excitement around such interventions
is that in bringing citizens and victims together with offenders
and the supporters of both offender and victim together in a Family
Group Conference or sentencing circle, much more than sanctioning
or "shaming" may be accomplished. Among other things,
conferences or circles contain some basic elements of a true offender
Yet, as is the case with restitution or victim-offender mediation
programs, the impact of spending two hours in an FGC should not
be expected to produce remarkable results and does not offer a complete
model of rehabilitation.134 There is nothing easy about the restorative
justice process, and it will in fact require far more time up-front,
as well as follow-up time than formal court processes. Offenders
will not be quickly "cured," and as Braithwaite &
Mugford suggest, several family group conferences may be necessary
before an offender "gets the message."135 As an ex-felon,
who is now an active leader in a local community juvenile justice
committee in northern Canada and mentor for young offenders participating
in circle sentencing processes told Judge Barry Stuart, "Im
still a crook... I still want to sell and use drugs and fence stereo
equipment. But if I do that, I lose this connection. Its this
connection here (the community justice committee) that makes me
not do it."
Moreover, if not carried out with a thorough grounding in restorative
goals and values, FGCs and other processes may even exacerbate the
reintegration problem.136 There are empirical questions one may
ask to determine if a specific sanctioning approach or process is
likely to be helpful or harmful, and Braithwaite and Mugfords
distinction between "conditions of successful reintegration
ceremonies" that differentiate condemnation of the act from
condemnation of the actor137 and processes such as "shaming"
that promote "status degradation," provide a useful benchmark
in making this assessment.138
Practically, from a rehabilitative perspective, these community
sanctioning models provide one possible "gateway" to engage
community support for offender reintegration at a time when this
is a very difficult political enterprise. Some have suggested, however,
that what may be most important about these community sanctioning
processes is their potential for increasing citizen participation
in and support for reintegrative processes by providing a sense
of ownership over a primary justice decisionmaking function.139
As the quote from Judge Stuart at the beginning of this section
suggests, citizen involvement may also widen the range of offenders
viewed as acceptable for community sanctioning to include serious
and violent lawbreakers generally viewed as beyond eligibility for
reintegrative processes. The "hook" to attract such community
support is that citizens who had formerly been uninvolved and concerned
about offenders only in the abstract, and then often as objectives
of punishment, will be more willing to participate when given the
opportunity for input into sanctioning decisions. Once involved
in this way, restorative justice advocates assume, citizens will
be more likely to also better understand the needs of the offenders
(as well as those of victims) and will be more likely to also support
a reintegrative agenda for offenders who fulfill their obligations
through a restorative process of earned redemption.
Confronting Obstacles: A Discussion
Although the more obvious criticisms of restorative justice can
be answered persuasively, numerous obstacles remain to widespread
expansion of a restorative agenda in the U.S. Both generic questions
about restorative justice and specific questions about the prospects
for offender reintegration based on development and expansion of
processes of earned redemption need to be addressed.
Responding to Critics: Generic Concerns About Restorative Justice
Restorative justice advocates do not have all the answers for criminal
justice reform or for changing the community response to crime.
Although addressing the range of criticisms of this "new paradigm"
is beyond the scope of this paper, several of the most common questions
about restorative justice can be at least provisionally answered.
1. Limited Application Although some have dismissed restorative
justice as relevant only to minor crimes, as a systemic intervention
model, restorative justice cannot be limited to one program, one
type of offender or victim, or one part of the system. Restorative
responses for cases diverted from the court or formal system (e.g.,
community mediation and service to the community) and restorative
efforts to prevent crime (e.g, school-based mediation) are, however,
likely to be very different from restorative responses to the most
violent crimes (e.g., victim awareness education or community service
within a secure facility). Currently, though use is most common
as part of diversion or as an option for probation, restorative
sanctioning and decisionmaking processes are being used at several
points in juvenile and criminal justice systems in various parts
of the world. Restorative sanctions may be ordered by judges or
developed through community boards, mediation sessions, or other
process at any point including after institutional commitment.140
2. Lack of Concern With Due Process Because a core principle
of restorative justice is that the community should have input into
how problems should be resolved and new responses to crime developed,
restorative justice should be flexible and adaptable to local communities
and prescriptive only with regard to these values and system goals.
It is often this general emphasis on community involvement in nonadversarial
decisonmaking that has been the source of many questions about restorative
justice. Such increased reliance on informal processes seems difficult
to envision in a system in which formal rules and procedures are
in part intended to protect offenders from the abuses of unrestricted
retribution and may be especially troubling to those concerned about
further slippage in current procedural safeguards.141 No restorative
justice advocates have argued that it is necessary or desirable
to weaken constitutional safeguards for offenders,142 and restorative
justice processes are not undertaken in cases in which an offender
has not admitted or been found guilty. In most cases the current
court process is itself often highly informal rather than truly
adversarial;143 however, it is based on negotiation and bargaining
in the service of the retributive ends of the state (and the professional
interests of attorneys) rather than the interests of fairness and
3. Victims, Communities and Offenders as Obstacles Numerous
questions remain about the practicality and overall effectiveness
of restorative approaches. Common concerns focus, for example, on
assertions that "victims are angry and punitive and do not
want to have anything to do with the offender;" "offenders
have no empathy, are incompetent, and are incapable of restoring
the loss or harm caused by their crimes;" "the community
is apathetic and citizens do not wish to be involved;" or "juvenile
justice workers are required to spend too much time in court or
doing paperwork and have not been trained to work with the community."
Interestingly, criminal justice professionals committed to achieving
the restorative justice goals view these very rationales for opposing
the approach as precisely the reasons a new mission is necessary.145
That is, if victims are angry and offenders lack skills and empathy,
a primary objective should be to develop interventions that facilitate
changes in offender empathy and competency and attempt to meet the
needs of victims and ask them for their input. If citizens seem
apathetic, a primary objective should be to work toward reducing
community apathy and non-involvement and strengthening neighborhoods
by changing the nature of current practices and decision-making
processes. Finally, if staff do not have time or skills to perform
such tasks, it may be time to reexamine and consider changing priorities
4. Incompatibility With Other Criminal Justice Objectives
It is unlikely that a restorative system would eliminate other traditional
justice system goals. Rather, restorative justice would most likely
seek to bring about changes in the priority of these goals.146 For
the most part, as Braithwaite & Mugford propose,147 restorative
justice values can exist side-by-side with most traditional goals
of juvenile justice intervention such as rehabilitation, and even
deterrence and incapacitation. Proponents of restorative justice,
for example, recognize the need for attempts to deter some offenders,
as secondary responses when they willfully and repeatedly disregard
restorative obligations, or to protect citizens by incapacitating
a smaller group of predatory offenders who continually victimize
others.148 But restorative justice would give lowest priority to
punishment for its own sake, and would in practice challenge current
"easy" solutions that simply reinforce retributive urges
and devote additional resources to traditional punishment, treatment
and unimaginative approaches to enhancing public safety. From a
restorative perspective, it is easy to get offenders to "take
the punishment,"149 but it is much more difficult and
more important to get them to take responsibility. It is
equally easy to get many offenders to submit passively to the requirements
of treatment programs, but it is much more difficult and
more important to get them to actively earn their way back
into the community and involve themselves in meaningful, productive
roles that can potentially change their image from liability to
community asset. It is easy to routinely lock up offenders in the
name of public safety. But it is more difficult and more important
to promote genuine public safety by building community capacity
to control and prevent crime.150
5. The Need for More Research While the experience of restorative
justice initiatives thus far and the findings of restorative justice
research does not support the claims of critics, the "grain
of truth" in these assertions does in many ways reflect the
view of some staff in todays criminal justice systems. Initially,
potential problems can be seen as basic implementation challenges,
which in turn suggest essential empirical questions. For example,
a fundamental question that requires baseline data before court
and other system decisionmakers decide to support community justice
decisionmaking is whether or not citizens really want these alternatives
and are willing to be involved in neighborhood sanctioning processes.
Alternatively, citizens may simply want more accessible, or "user-friendly,"
courts and other criminal justice agencies. As Kathleen Daly suggests
after examining restorative justice conferencing in Australian over
a period of several months, cautious optimism is justified in assessing
the potential benefits of restorative justice.151 Restorative justice
is in its infancy but, in any case, the standard or benchmark for
gauging success must be the reality of the current system rather
than some ideal depiction of it. While research is clearly needed,
research evidence thus far on restorative programs indicates positive
impacts on victim, offender, and community.152 Moreover, as suggested
earlier, other streams of research focused on delinquent reform
and neighborhood collective efficacy are generally supportive of
the restorative focus. 53
Devolving Rehabilitation and Building Community: Offenders, Experts,
Real People and "Naturalistic" Reintegration
The development of a system [criminal justice] that takes sole responsibility
for authoritarian control, and of a department [police] that takes
sole responsibility for removing people from civil society and feeding
themselves into this system - such developments may be socially
debilitating, even criminogenic. They perpetuate the illusion that
the state, rather than civil society, is ultimately responsible
for social order."154
Many "baby-boomers" and older generations often recall
a time when adults in their neighborhoods or small towns took responsibility
for "looking after" neighborhood children other than their
own. In effect, community members, with the encouragement and support
of police, schools, and other institutions, often "took care
of " problems that now end up in juvenile courts or diversion
programs. One of the things neighborhood adults did, as Braithwaite155
reminds us, is reinforce community standards, norms and expectations.
These adults set community tolerance limits, and through verbal
or other sanctions (including telling our parents), often persuaded
young people to refrain from whatever troublemaking or annoying
behavior they were involved in. As adults were involved in expressing
disapproval of behavior they viewed as wrong, they maintained a
relatively strong system of informal social control. While it is
possible to simply write these actions off as nostalgic memories
of a different era and some of these social control techniques
were discriminatory and undemocratic we can also examine
cultural and structural forces that have fundamentally limited the
capacity of neighborhoods to develop common tolerance limits.156
Moreover, it is important to ask questions about the ways in which
criminal justice intervention itself may have reinforced a process
by which community adults, and adult institutions, appear to have
become helpless and hapless in socializing young people.
Several developments in U.S. criminal justice have expanded the
government role in social control while undercutting the communitys
role. The movement away from informal, neighborhood policing which
emphasized local responses to crime to centralized intake bureaus
where juvenile justice professionals process young offenders through
courts and treatment programs157 is one example. Similarly, three
decades of failure in the experience with juvenile diversion programs
in the U.S.158 can teach related lessons about the intrusiveness
and expansiveness of early intervention programs and the social
service bureaucracies that support them. The problem with diversion
and the centralization and specialization of the response to crime
was the failure to distinguish between interventions that strengthened
youth commitments and youth-adult relationships and those that further
stigmatized and excluded young people, isolated youth from conventional
adults, and usurped the communitys responsibility.
The problem, moreover, was not government itself, but a failure
to define a suitable role for government. When the role of the justice
system is not clearly defined, in concert with the communitys
role, justice and service programs are likely to overextend their
reach, and bureaucracies will often make matters worse by aggravating
processes of marginalization. As McKnight observes:
A preliminary hypotheses is that services that are heavily focused
on deficiency tend to be pathways out of community and into the
exclusion of serviced life. We need a rigorous examination of public
investments so that we can distinguish between services that lead
people out of community and into dependency and those that support
people in community life. (Emphasis mine)159
A relational approach to offender rehabilitation must at some point
confront social service bureaucracies which focus primarily on deficiency
and exclusion and which, in the attempt to provide help, actually
minimize the prospects for bonding and relationship building. In
place of this youth service and individual treatment model, a new
intervention paradigm is needed which seeks to rediscover and, if
necessary, reinvent ways for communities to begin to take back the
responsibility for youth socialization and offender rehabilitation.
Citizens who look closely at the causes of crime suspect that courts
and justice systems have already reached beyond their competence
in the effort to control crime, sanction offenders, or build safer
communities.160 Similarly, government cannot be solely responsible
for rehabilitating offenders.
The "good news" is that most offenders "age out"
of crime or experience "maturational reform."161 While
this process doesnt happen magically, it typically has nothing
to do with treatment programs. Rather, known institutional and social
ecological factors notably a job, family ties (both family
of origin and family of choice), access to higher education, and
community supports are primarily responsible.162 Moreover,
the resiliency of young people in high risk neighborhoods seems
to be due to one relatively simple factor: the ongoing presence
of one or more caring adults (not necessarily parents) who are able
to provide them with ongoing support and access to roles which allow
them to develop legitimate identities.163 What is of most significance
is the role of the relationships most young offenders eventually
build with other law-abiding citizens in their own communities.
Hence, effective strategies for long-term rehabilitation must maximize
neighborhood ties and seek to enhance those nonprofessional adult
But naturalistic does not mean "naturally occurring."
There is nothing accidental about reintegration and a relational
strategy based on restorative principles is not a libertarian approach.
Moreover, there is nothing magical about "the community,"
and identifying and mobilizing citizens to allow for a greater community
role in rehabilitation will require a very intentional strategy
which redefines, rather than seeks to eliminate the government role.164
Hence, a naturalistic approach to rehabilitation would build on
a general belief in the capacity of communities and nonprofessional
adults, if encouraged and supported, to develop and assist young
people in getting through problems such as delinquency and growing
up. Relational rehabilitation would maximize use of informal support
networks while minimizing use of formal social control and professional
Such a strategy would redirect justice resources toward the difficult
task of community building and would begin to redefine the role
of the rehabilitation professional. In a naturalistic, relational
rehabilitation approach such professionals would no longer view
themselves, or be viewed by their communities as "experts,"
providing service or treatment to change offender attitudes and
behavior. Nor would their role be defined as "case manager,"
responsible for functions which limit the potential for astute professionals
to enhance naturalistic reintegrative processes. Rather than monitoring
offenders on community supervision, making referrals for service,
and completing paperwork, justice professionals would focus on creative
problem-solving, community development, and relationship building,
and the professional role in relational rehabilitation would thus
be more one of catalyst for facilitating change in the role of offenders
from liability to resource.165
Obstacles to Restorative Reintegration: The Challenge of Earned
Currently, in the U.S. we appear to lack two essential ingredients
necessary to make the restorative justice response to crime more
than a marginal and ancillary feature of the current predominately
retributive criminal justice response. To move forward with an agenda
for offender reintegration based on earned redemption, it is necessary
to consider how the restorative justice project, which necessarily
consists of micro efforts to repair harm to victims and victimized
communities, might interact with more macro efforts to build a supportive
culture of redemption and to develop structural paths which support
integration and reintegration. In the U.S. in particular, however,
the prospect of a more systemic and societal application of earned
redemption must confront both cultural and structural obstacles.
A Structure of Integration and Reintegration
One typical response to restorative justice arguments about offender
reintegration is that when it comes to young people in much of the
Western world, we lack even an approach to integration.166 The increasing
structural separation of young people from adults is indeed both
a cause of crime and a formidable barrier to even a productive dialogue
about offender reintegration.
Addressing this separation as an international problem of marginalization
of young people will require a dramatic shift in work and educational
policies and priorities. Such a shift requires a willingness to
confront structural economic changes that have created an international
crisis of youth marginalization.167 This crisis is, of course, greatly
exacerbated for young minority people as illustrated graphically
by rates of unemployment for 16-19 year old African-Americans that
in recent years have run as high as three times those for whites
(the white rate has averaged approximately 20 percent).
Having begun to address these issues, a comprehensive and meaningful
reintegration policy aimed at young persons currently in (or near)
the criminal and juvenile justice systems must therefore begin with
an educational, employment, and youth development strategy. Such
a strategy would be based on the premise that a functional economy
cannot afford to "write off" huge segments of the youth
population as liabilities, but must instead begin to view all young
people as a resource.168
A second structural concern for advocates of a restorative approach
to reintegration grows out of the fundamental premise of restorative
justice that crime control and offender reintegration must begin
and end in communities. This requires that advocates confront the
fundamental challenge of "finding" and then engaging community.
The magnitude of this structural challenge is illustrated clearly
by criminologist Elliot Curries sketch of an economy and social
system that strains communities to the point at which they are unable
to develop or sustain a sense of connectedness or bonding:
If we wanted to sketch a hypothetical portrait of an especially
violent society, it would surely contain these elements: it would
separate large numbers of people, especially the young, from the
kind of work that could include them securely in community life;
it would encourage polices of economic development and income distribution
that sharply increased inequalities between sectors of the population;
it would rapidly shift vast amounts of capital from place to place
without regard for the impact on local communities, causing massive
movements of population away from family and neighborhood supports
in search of livelihood; it would avoid providing new mechanisms
of care and support for those uprooted, perhaps in the name of preserving
incentives to work and paring government spending; it would promote
a culture of intense interpersonal competition and spur its citizens
to a level of material consumption many could not lawfully sustain.169
While the emphasis on the personal "communities of concern"
around offender and victims as discussed above is a useful beginning
in the effort to define community in terms useful for criminal justice
intervention, this focus has little apparent relationship to a macro
reintegration strategy based on earned redemption. One initial linkage
proposed by Braithwaite and Parker is to begin to connect community
sanctioning and reintegration ceremonies to what they refer to as
"vibrant social movement politics."170 The purpose of
such a linkage is to address structural inequities directly implicated
in race and class bias in the criminal justice process, while also
checking the potential tyranny of both state and community. Infusing
more macro, movement politics into such micro processes as FGC,
victim offender dialogue, or circle sentencing, on the one hand,
runs the risk of altering the dynamic of these ceremonies in a way
that may alienate some participants. On the other hand, broader
community and social justice concerns which appear to be clearly
grounded in movement politics have been a consistent feature of
some of these efforts to devolve, and assume community control over,
justice decisionmaking. In fact, community control over justice
processes has been a strong driving force among those Canadian and
New Zealand aboriginals, although the devolution movement in these
communities has been as much about local ownership as indigenous
solidarity.171 Similar initiatives could possibly build on anti-criminal
justice system sentiments in African-American and Hispanic communities
in the U.S. in a way that encourages local community-building to
improve the response to crime.
A Culture of Redemption
Case One - In San Diego the tragic shooting of the teenage son
of a well-to-do San Diego businessman by a 14-year old gang member
after the mans son had refused to give him a pizza was to
result in the transfer of the offenders case to adult court
for disposition. Rather than seek waiver of his sons killer
to adult court, the father, who blamed the state of California for
allowing teenagers such easy access to guns, chose to reach out
to the grandfather of the boy both for a resolution to this case
and to develop a potential solution to the broader problem of youth
violence. After a series of meetings that involved the extended
families of the father of the victim and the offender, the father
and grandfather formed a national coalition dedicated to remedying
the two conditions the father blamed for his sons shooting:
the ready availability of guns to teenagers and the need for training
in peaceful alternatives to resolving conflict among young people.
Case Two - A St. Paul Minnesota man, whose home had been burglarized
and his possessions (including several valuable antiques) badly
damaged by a vandalism spree of two young neighborhood boys, recognized
that his neighborhood lacked the sense of community he once felt.
Feeling some personal responsibility for this breakdown in relationships
as well as anxiety about his loss, the victim suggested to the prosecutor
in the case that a meeting with the offenders be arranged in hope
that he might involve them in an effort to do something in the neighborhood
to restore a sense of community. After this suggestion was rebuffed
by the prosecutor who explained that the courts were "interested
in consistency, not creativity," the man with the support
of victim-offender mediation case workers arranged a block
party in which the offenders were required to work with him to prepare
a barbeque for neighborhood residents.
It is apparent that cultural expectations in those societies and
communities that find an easy fit between restorative justice and
criminal justice support and encourage offender confession and repentance
for their wrongdoing. Once this occurs, it is also assumed that
societal forgiveness and an effort to reintegrate the offender will
be forthcoming.172 Building support for earned redemption within
a culture of blame and retribution based on what one observer labeled
"constitutionalized revenge" presents enormous challenges.
One of the greatest of these challenges is the mutually reinforcing
character of a justice system focused on fixing blame and determining
punishment by means of the most adversarial process in the world
and the tendency of offenders to deny guilt or admit to the
lowest acceptable charge until a plea agreement can be negotiated.
On the one hand, the current attempt to "import" processes
that use shame and remorse in ways that promote repentance, forgiveness,
and resolution in such a culture runs a substantial risk of perverting
these concepts. On the other hand, despite these cultural obstacles,
the cases described above, however atypical they may appear in the
American cultural context, are not unique. Moreover, the cultural
significance of a few widely publicized cases that seem to stretch
the concepts of forgiveness and repentance to the limit could enhance
the strength of emerging grassroots support by providing a kind
of "folklore" that illustrates a much wider range of possibilities
in the community response to crime. In addition, consistent with
Narolls theory of "snowballs,"173 as reintegrative
sanctioning ceremonies are repeated and publicized often enough
in what some see as a period in which policymakers are sensing that
they have reached the limits of the punitive and treatment reactions,
a community and cultural learning process may take place.174 Such
a process may allow these alternatives to slowly seep into the cultural
repertoire of potential responses to crime and to the harm crime
Proponents of restorative justice approaches are indeed engaged
in micro attempts to "build community" from the ground
up using the vehicle of sanctioning ceremonies. While the prospects
of such activity bringing about systemic change in criminal justice
seem remote, other examples from community organizing suggest that
it is often one signifying incident (e.g., a police shooting) that
mobilizes neighborhoods to implement reforms. It might not stretch
this analogy too far to argue that new awareness of the crime problem
in a community, growing problems with neighborhood young people,
concern about increased victimization, or a particularly disturbing
case, could, in the context of an effective participatory community
sanctioning model, provide a "wake-up" call to a few individuals
who band together to initiate fundamental change in the response
Although the hope for cultural change in a direction supportive
of earned redemption by means of even widely repeated demonstrations
of successful restorative responses seems farfetched, Schweigert
suggests that the emerging restorative justice agenda for "community
moral development" has several characteristics in common with
other successful social change movements.175 This includes a blending
of means and ends, or process and outcome (e.g., conflict resolution,
informal social control mechanisms), which allows for multiple and
ever widening impact as the means themselves result in outcomes
unforseen by the actors involved, yet consistent with the basic
principles. Moreover, restorative justice reforms build on community
assets and strengths,176 follow the lead of "citizen politics"
in their adaptability and focus on local communal traditions while
using professionals as catalysts and facilitators, demand and encourage
collaboration, and allow for "free space" or "space
between places" in social relations where individuals and communities
and the formal and informal intersect. The latter characteristic
encourages victims, citizens and offenders in conferences, mediations,
and other processes to resolve conflict in a way that is potentially
transformative for communities and which integrates effective ties
and emotions based on communal norms with the universal norms with
the legal system which provide rational, transcending standards.
"Crime" as a violation of established law is linked in
restorative justice to the more communal notion of crime as personal
conflict and personal injury sanctioning ceremonies in which
...moral authority is demonstrated as government agencies and institutions
act with respect toward all persons involved in the crime, effect
a process that repairs the harm done by the crime, and ratify the
authority and acts of those who resolve the crime. In short, impersonal
rational moral authority is demonstrated by acts of reinstating
offenders and restoring victims. The restorative process enables
persons exercising communal moral authority to endorse the acts
and hence the authority of agencies and institutions embodying universal
norms. In this way, the moral authority of community traditions
reinforces the authority of universal norms.177
Discussion moving from micro to macro process in this fashion while
connecting the communal and universal will been seen by many as
nothing less than Utopian. Yet, as Belgium criminologist Lode Walgrave
Giving priority to reparation rather than retribution calls for
a change in social ethics and a different ideology of society. That
means a society governed with the aims of individual and collective
emancipation, in which autonomy and solidarity are not seen as diametrically
opposed, but viewed as mutually reinforcing principles. A society
doing its utmost to avoid exclusion of its members, because it is
a society which draws its strength not from fear but from the high
social ethics by which it is governed...Is this Utopia? Yes, but
we need a utopia to motivate us and provide guidance for our actions
in society. There is nothing more practical than a good utopia.178
© The Communitarian Network
1.Conservative philosophers have generally enshrined punishment
as the cornerstone of moral authority and thus the priority for
intervention in response to crime, and have little faith in the
capacity of most offenders to change behavior except in response
to the threat of coercive responses centered primarily on incarceration
(van den Haag, 1975). Liberal approaches have traditionally focused
on rehabilitative approaches that seek to treat the assumed underlying
causes of crime. Based on the idea that criminal justice intervention
must be kept to a minimum, proponents of libertarian approaches,
emphasize procedural restrictions on the system because they are
equally skeptical of the motives of those seeking to either punish
or treat offenders (Platt, 1977; Rothman, 1980), and are concerned
that intervention, no matter what the intent, often makes matters
worse (AFSC, 1967; M. Lemert, 1971; E. Schur, 1972).
2. B. Feld, "The Punitive Juvenile Court and the Quality of
Procedural Justice: Distinctions Between Rhetoric and Reality,"
Crime & Delinquency 36 (1990); B. Feld, "The Criminal Court
Alternative to Perpetuating Juvenile in Justice," The Juvenile
Court: Dynamic, Dysfunctional, or Dead? (Philadelphia: Center for
the Study of Youth Policy, School of Social Work, University of
Pennsylvania, 1993), 3-13; D.R. Gordon, The Justice Juggernaut (New
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University, 1991); M. Tonry, Malign Neglect,
Race, Crime and Punishment in America (New York: Oxford University
3. H. Zehr, Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice
(Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press, 1990); M. Umbreit, Victim Meets Offender:
The Impact of Restorative Justice and Mediation (Monsey, NY: Criminal
Justice Press, 1994).
4. F.T. Cullen & J.P.; Wright, "The Future of Corrections,"
The Past, Present, and Future of American Criminal Justice, ed.
B. Maguire and P. Radosh (New York: General Hall, 1995).
5. The retributive/punitive paradigm that emerged in the juvenile
justice system in the 1980s was in no way a pure "just deserts"
approach. (Thompson & McAnany 1984). Rather, retributive justice,
as implemented, combines the emphasis on the primacy of punishment
philosophy and certain policy trappings (e.g., determinate sentencing
guidelines) of just deserts with a general concern with deterrence,
incapacitation and more traditional punitive objectives.
6. F.T. Cullen & K.E. Gilbert, Reaffirming Rehabilitation (Cincinnati:
Anderson, 1982); B. Krisberg, The Juvenile Court: Reclaiming the
Vision (San Francisco: National Council of Crime & Delinquency
[NCCD], 1988); P. Gendreau & R. Ross, "Correctional Treatment:
Some Recommendations for Successful Intervention," Juvenile
and Family Court Journal 34 (1994): 31-40.
7. Tonry, Malign Neglect.
8. The libertarian concern with due process become strong in the
1960s and 1970s as the growth of law enforcement capabilities and
the Supreme Courts response to this new state power created
heightened awareness of threats to civil liberties (H. Packer, 1968).
Proponents of crime control ideologies, impatient with the due process
concerns of libertarians, are interested in maximizing intervention
aimed at reducing risk of crime even at the expense of some encroachment
on civil liberties, minimizing procedures and obstacles to efficiency
in crime-fighting and maximizing use of incarceration. Unlike the
more moralistic or "fundamentalist" position of conservatives
(Guarino-Ghezzi & Loughran, 1996) however, proponents of crime
control favor punishment as a means to the more ultimate ends of
deterrence and/or incapacitation
9. AFSC, Struggle for Justice; E. Schur, Radical Nonintervention
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972); Feld, "The
Criminal Court," 3-13.
10. Zehr, Changing Lenses.
11. Zehr, Changing Lenses; D. Nan Ness, et. al., "Restorative
justice Practice," Monograph (Washington, DC: Justice Fellowship,
12. Zehr, Changing Lenses; Van Ness, "New Wine and Old Wineskins:
Four Challenges of Restorative Justice," Criminal Law Forum
4 (1993): 251-76; G. Bazemore, "Three Paradigms for Juvenile
Justice," in The Practice of Restorative Justice, ed. Joe Hudson
and Burt Galaway (Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, 1996).
13. R. Elias Victims Still: Political Manipulation of Crime Victims
(Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993); Bazemore, "Understanding the
Response to Reforms Limiting Discretion: Judges Views of Restrictions
on Detention Intake," Justice Quarterly 11 (1994): 429-53.
14. Indeed, restorative justice is often equated with one program,
victim offender mediation (Umbreit, 1994; M. Wright, 1991). There
is good reason, however, for this emphasis on victims in restorative
justice. Early research and theoretical discussion of practices
such as restitution and even victim-offender mediation was, on the
contrary, almost exclusively offender-focused, giving primary emphasis
to use of these sanctions to promote diversion or alternatives to
incarceration. The term "restorative justice" is generally
attributed to Albert Eglash. (A. Eglash, 1975). "Client"
as used in this paper refers to an individual or group that receive
services from a governmental agency based on need and are targeted
for intervention by the agency intended to change behavior or alter
their current situation. A "coparticipant" is actively
engaged in the government intervention process as a key decisionmaker.
15. G. Bazemore & M. Umbreit, "Rethinking the Sanctioning
Function in Juvenile Court: Retributive or Restorative Responses
to Youth Crime," Crime and Delinquency 41 (1995): 296-316;
Zehr, Changing Lenses.
16. Although the term "earned redemption" has probably
been used before in various contexts, I credit its use in the modern
restorative justice movement to Dennis Maloney, Director, Deschutes
County Department of Community Corrections, Bend, Oregon.
17. K. Pranis, "Communities and the Justice System: Turning
the Relationship Upside Down," paper presented before the Office
of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC
18. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice."
19. Bazemore, "Three Paradigms"; M.J. Dooley, Reparative
Probation Program (Vermont Department of Corrections, 1995).
20. G. Bazemore, "Whats New About the Balanced Approach?"
Juvenile and Family Court Journal 48 (1997): 1-23.
21. Van Ness, "New Wine and Old Wineskins," 251-76; Zehr,
22. G.M. Weitekamp, "The History of Restorative Justice,"
in Restoring Juvenile Justice: Changing the Context of Youth Crime
Response, eds. G. Bazemore and L. Walgrave (Monsey, NY: Criminal
Justice Press, forthcoming )
23. R.J. Michalowski, Order, Law, and Crime (New York: Random House,
1995); Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice."
24. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice."
25. Weitekamp, "The History of Restorative Justice."
26. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice."
27. Monarchs who succeeded William, competed with the churchs
influence over secular matters and effectively replaced local systems
of dispute resolution. In 1116, Williams son, Henry I, issued
the Leges Henrici securing royal jurisdiction over certain offenses
against the kings peace, including arson, robbery, murder,
false coinage, and crimes of violence.
28. S. Schafer, Compensation and Restitution to Victims of Crime
(Montclaire, NJ: Smith Patterson, 1970).
29. J. Hudson, et.al., "Research of Family Group Conferencing
in Child Welfare in New Zealand," in Family Group Conferences:
Perspectives on Policy and Practice (Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice
Press, 1996); A. Schneider, "Restitution and Recidivism Rates
of Juvenile Offenders: Results from Four Experimental Studies,"
Criminology 24 (1986): 533-52; Umbreit, Victim Meets Offender.
30. Zehr, Changing Lenses; J. Hudson, et.al., "Research of
Family," 1-16; Bazemore & Umbreit, "Rethinking the
31. E. Barajas Jr., "Moving Toward Community Justice,"
Topics in Community Corrections (Washington, DC: National Institute
of Corrections, 1995); C.T. Griffiths and R. Hamilton, "Spiritual
Renewal Community Revitalization and Healing: Experience in Traditional
Aboriginal Justice in Canada," International Journal of Comparative
and Applied Criminal Justice 20 (forthcoming); B. Stuart, "Circle
Sentencing: Turning Swords Into Ploughshares," in Restorative
Justice International Perspectives, eds. B. Galaway and J. Hudson
(Monsey, NY: Kugler Publications, 1996): 193-206.
32. M. Young, "Restorative Community Justice: A Call to Action,"
report for National Organization for Victim Assistance, Washington,
DC (1995); G. Bazemore & M. Schiff, "Community Justice/Restorative
Justice: Prospects for a New Social Ecology for Community Corrections,"
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
20 (1996): 311-35.
33. J. Robinson, "Research on Child Welfare in New Zealand,"
in Family Group Conferences: Perspectives on Policy and Practice,
eds. J. Hudson, B. Galaway, A. Morris and G. Maxwell (Monsey, NY:
Criminal Justice Press, 1996): 49-64.
34. J. Belgrave, "Restorative Justice: A Discussion Paper"
(Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand Ministry of Justice, 1996);
Dooley, Reparative Probation Program.
35. Bazemore, "Whats New."
36. Young, "Restorative Communitive Justice."
37. M. Sparrow, et.al., Beyond 911 (New York: Basic Books, 1990);
M. Moore & R. Trojanowicz, "The Concept of Community,"
Perspectives on Policy No. 6 (Washington, DC: United States Department
of Justice, National Institute of Justice, 1988).
38. Griffiths and Hamilton, "Spiritual Renewal"; A. Melton,
"Indigenous Justice Systems and Tribal Society," Judicature
70 (1995): 126-33.
39. M.K. Harris, "Moving into the New Millenium: Toward a
Feminist Vision of Justice," in Criminology as Peacemaking,
eds. H. Pepinsky & R. Quinney (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
Press, 1990), 83-97; C.G. Bowman, "The Arrest Experiments:
A Feminist Critique," in Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial
Issues in Crime and Criminology, ed. R. Monk (Gilford, CT: Dushkin
Publishing Group, 1994), 186-91.
40. J. Braithwaite & P. Petit, Not Just Desserts: A Republican
Theory of Criminal Justice (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992); Bazemore
& Umbreit, "Rethinking the Sanctioning"; L. Walgrave,
"The Restorative Proportionality of Community Service for Juveniles:
Just a Technique or a Fully-Fledged Alternative?" Howard Journal
of Criminal Justice, 34 (1995): 228-49.
41. Philosophically and politically, a restorative approach is
also consistent with insights from the new communitarianism (e.g.,
Etzioni, 1993; Moore & OConnell, 1994) both in its demand
for active involvement of citizens in community problem solving
and skepticism about the ability of government to resolve problems
(e.g., Van Ness, et.al., 1989; Stuart, 1995). Restorative justice
principles are also consistent with recent developments in both
private sector and public management focused on reinventing organizational
responses to "customers" (Deming, 1996; Martin, 1993),
as well as with concepts from the environmental movement focused
on sustainable growth.
42. Many of these new practices in fact address that portion of
the reform agenda of restorative justice aimed at establishing a
community-based alternative to the formal justice system and the
need to transform justice decisionmaking processes to better accommodate
the needs and interests of victims, offenders and communities. Both
are discussed in subsequent sections.
43. Zehr, Changing Lenses; J. Braithwaite & S. Mugford, "Conditions
of Successful Reintegration Ceremonies: Dealing with Juvenile Offenders,"
British Journal of Criminology 34 (1994): 139-71.
44. H. Goldstein, "Improving Policing: A Problem-Oriented
Approach," Crime and Delinquency 25 (1979): 236-58; H. Goldstein,
"Toward Community-Oriented Policing: Potential, Basic Requirements
and Threshold Questions," Crime and Delinquency 33 (1987):
45. Zehr, Changing Lenses; Van Ness, "New Wine and Old Wineskins."
46. K. Pranis, "From Vision to Action," Church &
Society 87 (1997): 32-42; Stuart, "Circle Sentencing."
47. Zehr, Changing Lenses.
48. Zehr, Changing Lenses.
49. Pranis, "From Vision to Action."
50. Stuart, Sentencing Circles.
51. Zehr, Changing Lenses; Bazemore and Umbreit, "Rethinking
52. Zehr, Changing Lenses; H. Messmer and H. Otto, eds. Restorative
Justice on Trial: Pitfalls and Potentials of Victim Offender Mediation:International
Research Perspectives (Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers,
53. S. Hillsman and J. Greene, "The Use of Fines as an Intermediate
Sanction," in Smart Sentencing, eds. J.M. Byrne, A.Lurigio,
and J.Petersilia (Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1992), 123-41.
54. C. Shapiro, "Is Restitution Legislation the Chameleon
of the Victims Movement?" in Criminal Justice, Restitution,
and Reconciliation, eds. B. Galaway and J. Hudson (Monsey, NY: Willow
Tree Press, 1990), 73-80.
55. Elias, Victims Still.
56. M. Umbreit, "Holding Juvenile Offenders Accountable: A
Restorative Justice Perspective," Juvenile & Family Court
Journal 46 (1995): 31-41; Bazemore, "Understanding the Response."
57. Elaine Berzins, quoted in Stuart, "Circle Sentencing."
58. Wright, "Justice for Victims and Offenders"; Zehr,
59. Stuart, "Circle Sentencing."
60. Zehr, Changing Lenses.
61. Young, "Restorative Community Justice."
62. Indeed the experience with victim-offender mediation and some
research on crime victims attitudes suggest that victim mercy
toward offenders may be less at issue than the capacity of community
groups and certainly public officials to forgive (Umbreit, 1994;
Pranis and Umbreit, 1992).
63. Umbreit, Victim Meets Offender; Wright, "Justice for Victims
64. D. Karp, Community Justice, Research Seminar on Community,
Crime, and Justice (George Washington University/National Institute
of Justice, Washington, DC, 1997); Bazemore, "Three Paradigms."
65. R.J. Sampson and W.B. Groves, "Community Structure and
Crime: Testing Social-Disorganization Theory," American Journal
of Sociology 94 (1989): 774-802; Karp, Community Justice.
66. R. Sampson, S. Rodenbush, and F. Earls, (1997) "Neighborhoods
and Violent Crime: A Multi-level Study of Collective Efficacy,"
Science Magazine, Vol. 277, August.
67. T. Hirschi, Causes of Delinquency (Berkeley, CA: University
of California Press, 1969); T. Rose, & T. Clear, 1998, "Incarceration,
Social Capital & Crime: Implications for Social Disorganization
Theory." Criminology, 36(3), 471-479.
68. S. Briar and I. Piliavin, "Delinquency, Situational Inducements,
and Commitments to Conformity," Social Problems 13 (1965):
35-45; K. Polk and S. Kobrin, Delinquency Prevention Through Youth
Development (Washington, DC, Office of Youth Development, 1972).
69. E.H. Sutherland and D.R. Cressy, Criminology, 10th Edition
(Philadelphia: Lippincolt, 1978).
70. Stuart, Sentencing Circles.
71. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration."
72. H. Garfinkel, "Conditions of Successful Degredation Ceremonies,"
American Journal of Sociology 61 (1956): 420-4; Stuart, Sentencing
Circles; Wright, "Justice for Victims and Offenders."
73. At this interactional level, restorative justice is also consistent
with a growing body of empirical research on the role of informal
sanctions such as shame, embarrassment and the role of significant
others in promoting conformity to conventional norms (Thompkins,
1992; Retzinger & Scheff, 1997).
74. Pranis, "From Vision to Action."
75. A.J Reiss and M. Tonry, eds., Communities and Crime (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1986).
76. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice."
77. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice";
Stuart, Sentencing Circles; Pranis, "From Vision to Action."
78. Stuart, "Circle Sentencing."
79. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice."
80. N. Christie, Limits to Pain (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1982);
F. Schweigert, Learning the Common Good: Principles of Community-Based
Moral Education in Restorative Justice (St. Paul, MN: University
of Minnesota, 1997).
81. Stuart, "Circle Sentencing."
82. J. Braithwaite, Crime, Shame, and Reintegration (New York:
Cambridge University Press, 1989).
83. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration."
84. G. Bazemore and S. Day, "The Return to Family Interventions
in Youth Service: A Juvenile Justice Study in Policy Implementation,"
The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare 22 (1995): 25-50.
85. Reiss and Tonry, eds., Communities and Crime.
86. K. Pittman and W. Fleming, "A New Vision: Promoting Youth
Development," Testimony to House Select Committee on Children,
Youth and Families, Academy for Education and Development, Washington,
DC, September 1991; J.H. Brown and J.E. Horowitz, "Why Adolescent
Substance Abuse Prevention Programs Do Not Work," Evaluation
Review 17 (1993): 5.
87. G. Melton and P.M. Pagliocca, "Treatment in the Juvenile
Justice System: Directions for Policy and Practice," in Responding
to the Mental Health Needs of Youth in Juvenile Justice, ed. J.J.
Cocozza (Seattle, WA: National Coalition for the Metnally Ill in
the Criminal Justice System, 1992), 107-39.
88. R.W. Scott, Organizations: Rational National, and Open Systems
(Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1987).
89. I.M. Schwartz, "Public Attitudes Toward juvenile Crime
and Juvenile Justice: Implications for Public Policy," in Juvenile
Justice Policy, ed. I. Schwartz (Lexington, MA: Lexington books,
90. Bazemore and Umbreit, "Rethinking Sanctioning."
91. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration,"
92. K. Polk, "Family Conferencing: Theoretical and Evaluative
Questions," in Family Group Conferencing and Juvenile Justice:
The Way Forward or Misplaced Optimism?, eds. C. Adler and J. Wundersitz
(Canberra, ACT: Australia Institute of Criminology, 1994), 155-68;
James Wilson, The Truly Disadvantaged (Chicago: University of Chicago
93. It is ironic then that a discipline such as criminology so
grounded in sociological theories about the complex and community-oriented
causes of crime at times appears atheoretical and willing to beg
the basic question of whether anyone should expect young offenders
to be rehabilitated habilitated and reintegrated in
settings that involve limited and relatively short-term individually-focused
treatment by experts detached from communities. This basic suspension
of doubt is not apparently shared by average citizens (and juvenile
justice professionals) when they remind us that young offenders
even in the best treatment program will go back to
the same neighborhoods they came from. Although theories of crime
have come primarily from sociology, it is clear that the treatment
paradigm has been almost exclusively influenced by abnormal psychology
and clinical social work.
94. Schneider, "Restitution and Recidivism"; Braithwaite
and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration."
95. Van Ness, "New Wine and Old Wineskins"; G. Bazemore
and C. Terry, "Developing Delinquent Youth: A Reintegrative
model for Rehabilitation and a New Role for the Juvenile Justice
System," Child Welfare, forthcoming (1997).
96. This concept of "resonance" was first articulated
by Troy Armstrong (see Armstrong, Maloney & Romig, 1990).
97. Van Ness, et.al., "Restorative Justice Practice";
Stuart, "Circle Sentencing"; M. Brown and K. Polk, "Taking
Fear of Crime Seriously: The tasmanian Approach to Community Crime
Prevention," Crime & Delinquency 42 (1996): 398-420.
98. Hirschi, Causes of Delinquency.
99. Bazemore and Terry, "Developing Delinquent Youth";
G. Bazemore, "After the Shaming, Wither Reintegration: Restorative
Justice and Relational Rehabilitation," in Restoring Juvenile
Justice, eds. G. Bazemore and L. Walgrave (Amsterdam: Kugler International
Publications, forthcoming 1998).
100. Christie, Limits to Pain.
101. T. Makkai and J. Braithwaite, "Reintegratiive Shaming
and Compliance with Regulatory Standards," Criminology 31 (1994):
361-85; Bazemore and Umbreit, "Rethinking the Sanctioning."
102. Wright, "Justice for Victims and Offenders."
103. E. Durkheim, Moral Education: A Study in the Theory and Application
of the Sociology of Education, trans. E.K. Wilson and H. Schnuter
(New York: Free Press, 1961); D. Garland, Punishment and Moderns
Society: A Study in Social Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago
104. L. Zhang and S.F. Messner, "The Severity of Official
Punishment for Delinquency and Change in Interpersonal Relations
in Chinese Society," Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
31 (1994): 416-33.
105. Bazemore and Umbreit, "Rethinking the Sanctioning."
106. H. Packer, The Limits of the Criminal Sanction (Palo Alto,
CA: Stanford University Press, 1968), 41, 296-316.
107. Braithwaite, Crime, Shame, and Reintegration; L.T. Wilkins,
Punishment, Crime, and Market Forces (Bookfield, VT: Dartmouth Publishing
Company, 1991); Garland, Punishment and modern Society.
108. Durkheim, Moral Education, 181-2; cited in Braithwaite, Crime,
Shame, and Reintegration, 178.
109. Griffiths and Hamilton, "Spiritual Renewal"; Wilkins,
110. Durkheim, Moral Education.
111. Etzioni, The Spirit of Community; A. Schneider, Deterrence
and Juvenile Crime: Results from a National Policy Experiment (Nwe
York: Springer-Verlay, 1990)
112. Braithwaite, Crime, Shame, and Reintegration; Garland, Punishment
and Modern Society; Wilkins, Punishment.
113. J. Butts and H. Snyder, Restitution and Juvenile Recidivism
(Pittsburgh: National Center for Juvenile Justice, 1991); Schneider,
"Restitution and Recidivism"; L. Walgrave and H. Geudens,
"Community Service as a Sanction of Restorative Justice: A
European Approach," paper presented at the Council Meeting
of the American Society of Criminology, Chicago, November, 1996;
M. Schiff, "The Impact of Restorative Interventions on Juvenile
Offenders," in Restoring Juvenile Justice: Changing the Context
of the Youth Crime Response, eds. G. Bazemore and L. Walgrave (Monsey,
NY: Criminal Justice Press, forthcoming ).
114. Schneider, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime; M. Umbreit and R.
Coates, "Cross-Site Analysis of Victim-Offender Conflict: An
Analysis of Programs in These Three States," Juvenile and Family
Court Journal 43 (1993): 21-8.
115. Umbreit, Victim Meets Offender.
116. Schneider, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime.
117. S. Tomkins, Affect/Imagery/Consciousness (New York: Springer,
118. Stuart, Sentencing Circles; Griffiths and Hamilton, "Spiritual
119. B. Krisberg, et.al., "What Works with Juvenile Offenders:
A Review of Graduated Sanction Programs," Criminal Justice
(1995): 20; Gendreau and Ross, "Correctional Treatment."
120. Schiff, "The Impact of Restorative Interventions."
121. Gendreau and Ross, "Correctional Treatment."
122. Krisberg, et.al., "What Works."
123. G. Bazemore and D. Maloney, "Rehabilitating Community
Service: Toward Restorative Service in a Balanced Justice System,"
Federal Probation 58 (1994): 24-35.
124. M. Crouch, "Is Incarceration really Worse? Analysis of
Offenders Preferences for Prison Over Probation," Justice
Quarterly 10 (1993): 67-88.
125. Bazemore and Umbreit, "Rethinking the Sanctioning."
126. Bazemore and Maloney, "Rehabilitating Community Service";
Bazemore and Umbreit, "Rethinking the Sanctioning"; Polk,
127. Schneider, Deterrence and Juvenile Crime.
128. Bazemore and Maloney, "Rehabilitating Community Service";
Walgrave and Geudens, "Community Service."
129. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration";
Stuart, Sentencing Circles.
130. Stuart, "Circle Sentencing."
131. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration";
Stuart, Sentencing Circles.
132. Bazemore, G. (1997b) "The 'Community' in Community Justice:
Issues, Themes and Questions for the New Neighborhood Sanctioning
Models," The Justice System Journal, 19(2): 193-228; M. Umbreit
and S. Stacy, "Family Group Conferencing Comes to the U.S.:
A Comparison with Victim Offender Mediation," Juvenile and
Family Court Journal 11 (1996): 29-39.
133. With the exception of victim offender mediation (VOM), few
restorative sanctioning process have been to date rigorously evaluated.
VOM studies show positive impact on offenders, to supplement clearly
documented positive victim effects (Umbreit & Coates, 1993),
and the various affect theories and related perspectives underlying
the reintegrative shaming process in family group conferencing (Tomkins,
1992; Scheff & Retzinger, 1995; Moore & OConnell,
1994) are providing further impetus for expansion of sanctioning
processes aimed at reintegration as well as at holding offenders
accountable (Maxwell & Morris, 1933; Hudson & Galaway, 1996).
134. C. Alder and J. Wundersitz, Family Group Conferencing and
Juvenile Justice: The Way Forward or Misplaced Optimism? (Canberra,
ACT: Australia Institute of Criminology, 1971); Bazemore, "After
135. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration."
136. Polk, "Family Conferencing"; Umbreit and Stacy,
"Family Group Conferencing."
137. Braithwaite and Mugford, "Conditions of Successful Reintegration."
138. D. Kahan, "What do Alternative Sanctions Mean? The University
of Chicago Law Review 63 (1996): 591-653; Garfinkel, "Conditions
of Successful Degredation."
139. Bazemore, "The Community in Community Justice."
140. Few advocates of restorative justice argue that a restorative
approach is likely to, or should, completely replace existing justice
systems (at least not in the near future) (cf., Christie, 1982).
In fact, the most common debate is over the extent to which energies
should be focused on developing a parallel, informal, or "community
justice," system along the lines of the dual-track Japanese
model (Haley, 1989), or on efforts to modify the current formal
system by changing the role and function of professionals to support
restorative practices and processes. The restorative vision is,
however, one of an entire justice system, and ancillary community
networks, both with a variety of flexible options to meet the needs
of the three clients at any point in the justice process.
141. Feld, "The Punitive Juvenile Court."
142. Messmer and Otto eds., Restorative Justice on Trial.
143. J. Eisenstein and H. Jacob, Felony Justice: An Organizational
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144. Even if restorative justice options were restricted only to
those who admit guilt through plea bargaining or other mechanism,
they would still be applicable for the vast majority of criminal
and juvenile court cases. Moreover, in contrast to the "individualized"
justice especially characteristic of juvenile courts and the traditional
treatment model, restorative justice acknowledges and builds on
group and community responsibility for crime (Van Ness, 1993; McElrae,
1993; Braithwaite and Parker, 1998) rather than simply directing
blame and thus sanctions or treatment at individual
offenders. In short, there is little debate that an adversarial
system is needed, especially and primarily for decisions about guilt
and innocence, but much agreement that this system could be improved
if it received fewer cases and/or was modified to be more attentive
to client needs.
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of needs and risks and the provision of services intended to correct
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