From Crime to Punishment:
a. Incarceration, restitution order, community service
Restorative justice can happen at any stage
Sentencing circles take place after sentencing has occurred (aboriginal community)
What is crime?
o Things that harm others
o Breaking the law
o What you don’t want people to do to you
What types of needs do you believe crime creates?
o For the victim?
o For the victim’s family
o For the offender?
o Offender’s family
o Larger community?
As people experience the court system, movement comes up for modification to create a secondary impact of
Justice Needs: harm create needs
There’s a sense of isolation;; victims look for safety, a security that it won’t happen again
o Victims very frequently moves to a place of: if anything, this person will not do it again that kind of good
came out of it
o Often want answers; why did it happen?
Why is it important for the offender to say the words of exactly what he did?
o It’s important that the offender recognizes what he did
o Power from saying it to start the healing process
History of Criminal Justice
Retribution 13 century Wrong is righted by inflicting
Idea of blood atonement Offender (morally) deserves
Code of h’ammurabi this (just desserts)
Payment is usually
compensation in money
Utilitarian Rational choice theory punishment must maximize
18 century social good
criminal law reforms least amount that will deter
(specific and general) Retributive Justice
Principles of Criminal Justice
Rehabilitation behavioural sciences crime is an “illness” that needs
19 century to be treated
therefore, offenders need to be
restitution neo-classical economics some shift towards victims
political libertarianism (mostly towards $ cost of
mid to late 20 century crime)
offender should pay debt to
society and victim
Summary of Criminal Justice principles
Provides restitution (or compensation)
A Fifth Principle
A re-orientation of justice…
o Reaction to CJS
1974 Elmira, Ontario Case
2 fellows who were drunk and destroyed cars and houses with bats
o they were caught and judge was tired of sending them to detention centers
o parole officer said: why not get kids to each house and apologize to them
How to hold offenders accountable?
Process of RJ is to give power to victims and give them a voice
A way of thinking about justice
Moving from justice as consequence (ie. Punishment) towards justice as healing (ie. Meeting needs)
Restorative Justice Develops
From Elmira to…
o Learning from collective wisdom
Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice Together
RJ emerged as a critique of the criminal justice system
o Still has a flavor of criminal justice
Much of the RJ literature still speaks from this lens
Emerging literature focuses on the mutuality between criminal justice and restorative justice, as RJ as the fifth
Decisions and power in criminal Justice
we now give victims more power; victim
Critique of criminal justice system
Most are not solely interested in retribution
Mainstream process historically disempowered primary stakeholders Retributive Justice
Restorative justice allows for “retribution” where appropriate
Restorative justice empowers key stakeholders in a way that is right for them.
Reaction of Restorative Justice
To a system oriented towards punishment…
o Rather than direct accountability to people harmed.
To a system with centralized power & Decision-making……
o Rather than power and decision being in the hands of those most directly affected or who have a stake in the
Views crime as more than a law broken, but something that violates/hurts people and relationships.