The International Journal of Restorative Justice

Article

The attitudes of prisoners towards participation in restorative justice procedures

Keywords Restorative justice, prisons, incarceration, punishment
Authors Inbal Peleg-Koriat en Dana Weimann-Saks
Author's information

342927 Inbal Peleg-Koriat
Inbal Peleg-Koriat, PhD, is a lawyer and conflict management and negotiation specialist, and a faculty member at the Yezreel Valley Academic College, Israel.

342930 Dana Weimann-Saks
Dana Weimann-Saks, PhD, is a lawyer and a social psychologist, and also a faculty member at the Yezreel Valley Academic College.
  • Abstract

      Restorative justice can be implemented at different stages of criminal proceedings. In Israel, restorative justice processes are mainly used prior to sentencing, while there are no restorative programmes for adults following sentencing and while serving their prison sentences. The aim of the present study is to examine the possibility of implementing restorative processes within prison walls. To this end, the present study empirically investigates the level of readiness and willingness of prisoners (n = 110) from two large prisons in Israel to participate in restorative processes and examines the psychological mechanisms underlying their attitudes towards actual participation in these processes. The study proposes a model according to which the relationship between the cognitive component of attitude towards victims and the harm caused by the offence (beliefs and thoughts) and the behavioural component of attitude (the inclination to participate in restorative processes) is mediated by the affective component of attitude towards the offence (sense of guilt and shame). The findings of the study support the proposed model. The study also found that the more prisoners perceived the harm they caused as having more dimensions (physical, economic, emotional), the more positive their attitudes towards restorative justice would be. This study will advance research into restorative justice at a stage that has not previously been researched in Israel and has rarely been investigated elsewhere.

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