Thursday, 25 December 2014

Restorative and Alternative Justice

Restorative justice involves a focus on the respective needs of offenders, the community as well as victims as opposed to giving premium to punishing offenders and merely adhering to theoretical legal principles. This system of justice seeks to prevail upon offenders to take responsibility in respect to their actions. In restorative justice, offenders apologize, carry out community service or return stolen goods. It assists the offender to avert committing future offences. 

Indeed, wrongdoing and crime is not a crime against the state but against a community or an individual. It encourages dialogue between offenders and victims to guarantee that offenders take responsibility for their actions and those victims become satisfied. Transformative justice responds to conflicts using restorative justice practices, strategies and principles. This essay seeks to delve into the question as to whether transformative and/or restorative justice is practiced best through community- or state-based strategies. Additionally, the paper will analyze the weaknesses and strengths of each of these approaches drawing empirical and theoretical sources.

Restorative justice owes its roots to indigenous and traditional justice. Through elaborate community-based strategies, restorative justice seeks to create a better future as opposed to avenging the past. By applying community-based strategies, restorative justice seeks to establish the best way to repair harms done and not focusing upon the broken rules. The community and the victim participate in achieving justice. Restorative justice benefits both the victim and the offender. Transformative justice and/or restorative justice acknowledge individual identities, works and experiences to resist the criminal justice system by the state. 

In the era of prison overcrowding, the judicial system’s efficacy in terms of deterring crime has come under criticisms. For this reason, restorative justice involves crime control, restructure and rehabilitation as well as retribution. Striking a balance between punishing criminal behavior, compensating victims and rehabilitating offenders is a tall order. Community-based strategies help in dealing with the aftermath of an offence as well as its future implications.

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