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The International Journal of Restorative Justice

About this journal  

We are temporarily suspending the printing of journal issues, due to the measures taken to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19). When delivery becomes available again, we will resume the printing and sending of the journal issues previously missed. All articles of each new journal issue will be made available digitally via this online journal platform. In addition, we will include a link to the PDF of the full issue. Subscribe to the email alerts for this journal here to receive notifications when a new issue is at your disposal.

Issue 3, 2019 Expand all abstracts

Susanne Karstedt
Susanne Karstedt is Professor of Criminology, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner will from 2020 be a Professor of Criminology, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. In 2019 she was an Associate Professor of Criminology at the London School of Economics and a visitor at the Center for Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University.
Article

Restorative justice, anger, and the transformative energy of forgiveness

Keywords Restorative justice, ritual, anger, apology, forgiveness
Authors Meredith Rossner
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice has long been positioned as a justice mechanism that prioritises emotion and its expression. It is also unique in its ritual elements, such as the ritualized expression of anger and the symbolic exchange of apology and forgiveness. This paper draws on insights from research and practice in restorative justice and recent developments in criminology/legal theory and the philosophy of justice to suggest some ways that the broader criminal justice landscape can incorporate elements of successful restorative justice rituals into its practice. I argue that the unique elements of restorative justice- its ability to harness anger into a deliberative ritual for victims and offenders, its focus on symbolic reparations, and its ability to engender a form of forward-looking forgiveness that promotes civility- can provide a framework for rethinking how criminal justice institutions operate.


Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner will from 2020 be a Professor of Criminology, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. In 2019 she was an Associate Professor of Criminology at the London School of Economics and a visitor at the Center for Law and Public Affairs, Princeton University.
Article

On being ‘good sad’ and other conundrums: mapping emotion in post sentencing restorative justice

Keywords Post-sentencing restorative justice, emotion, victim-offender conferencing, violent crime, victims
Authors Jasmine Bruce and Jane Bolitho
AbstractAuthor's information

    Advocates of restorative justice argue the process offers significant benefits for participants after crime including emotional restoration. Critics point to concerns including the potential for victims to be re-victimised and offenders to be verbally abused by victims. Whether or not restorative justice should be made more widely available in cases of severe violence remains controversial. Drawing from 40 in-depth interviews with victims and offenders, across 23 completed cases concerning post-sentencing matters for adults following severe crime, we map the sequence of emotion felt by victims and offenders at four points in time: before, during and after the conference (both immediately and five years later). The findings provide insight into what emotions are felt and how they are perceived across time. We discuss the role of emotion in cases of violent crime and offer a fresh perspective on what emotional restoration actually means within effective conference processes at the post-sentencing stage.


Jasmine Bruce
Jasmine Bruce is Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Jane Bolitho
Jane Bolitho is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Article

Offenders’ understandings of forgiveness

Keywords Offenders, forgiveness, victim lens, offender lens
Authors Tamera Jenkins
AbstractAuthor's information

    Despite extensive research on victim perceptions of forgiveness comparatively little is known about the meaning offenders attach to forgiveness. Through in-depth interviews with 19 criminal offenders this study sought to lay foundational groundwork regarding offenders’ understandings of forgiveness. Offenders viewed forgiveness through both a ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ lens. From a victim perspective offenders described giving forgiveness as a response that enabled them to ‘let go’ or ‘get over’ personal harms. From an offender perspective receiving forgiveness was defined as being either conditional or unconditional. Conditional forgiveness was related to evidence of positive change in offenders that must occur prior to forgiveness while the essential characteristic of unconditional forgiveness was found to be love. A better understanding of the significance of forgiveness in the lives of criminal offenders has practical implications for clinicians, service providers, and criminal justice professionals involved in the treatment or custodial care of this population.


Tamera Jenkins
Tamera Jenkins, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice of the Griffith University – Mount Gravatt Campus, Brisbane, Australia.
Article

Complying with display rules: the ‘managed heart’ in restorative justice

complementing ritual theories of emotional bonding

Keywords Emotional bonding, emotion management, display rules, offstage performance, re-storying
Authors Bas van Stokkom
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this theoretical study it is argued, first, that ritual theories – at least those which are dominant in restorative justice literature – place too much emphasis on the potential positive impacts of emotional bonding. The author discusses some critical issues with respect to emotional bonding and points out that mutual understanding is rather the result of narrative re-appraising and re-assessing. Secondly, to explain the rather low emotional temperature of many (youth) conferences, emphasis is placed on emotion management theory, thereby suggesting that participants’ reservations and discomfort are related to rather demanding display rules (enact a sincere and authentic role; enact cooperativeness; etc.). The author identifies reasons why (young) participants cannot get grips on these rules and resort to a resigned ‘offstage’ performance. It is argued that display rules form an integral part of a relatively compelling ‘emotional regime’, a specific set of affective behavioural norms which define the ‘manners’ during the meeting. In this regime there is considerable social pressure to conform to norms and standards how to express emotions, which contradicts the restorative justice rhetoric of voluntary and spontaneous dialogue.


Bas van Stokkom
Bas van Stokkom is criminologist and research fellow at the Faculty of Law, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Article

The shame of injustice: the ethics of victimology and what it means for restorative justice

Keywords Victimology, restorative justice, shame, Bernard Williams, Susan Brison
Authors Antony Pemberton
AbstractAuthor's information

    The role of shame in restorative justice has a long pedigree. Most often shame has been conceptualised in terms of the act of the offender. The focus of this paper is instead on the shame of the person experiencing wrongdoing: a victim who is neither guilty nor responsible for the experience. This has the advantage of making more clear that shame fundamentally concerns an experience of ‘who I am’ rather than ‘what I have done’, while the reaction to the experience of shame in victimization should involve attention to the identity-related questions that are posed by this experience. This way of viewing shame is connected to the distinction between countering injustice and doing justice, and offers a number of fresh insights into victimological phenomena in restorative justice and restorative justice more generally.


Antony Pemberton
Professor of Restorative Justice, Leuven Institute of Criminology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; Professor of Victimology, Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Jo-Anne Wemmers
Jo-Anne Wemmers is a Full Professor at the School of Criminology, Université de Montréal (Canada) and Researcher at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Montréal, Canada.

Tom Daems
Tom Daems is Associate Professor at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC), KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Susan L. Brooks
Susan Brooks is an Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Drexel University Kline School of Law, Philadelphia, USA.
Conversations on restorative justice

A talk with Karin Sten Madsen

Authors Albert Dzur
Author's information

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA.

Jacques Claessen
Jacques Claessen is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law and an Endowed Professor of Restorative Justice at Maastricht University and Honorary Judge at the District Court of Limburg, the Netherlands.

Eduardo Cozar
Eduardo Cozar is the Executive Director of Prison Fellowship Spain, facilitator and mediator, Madrid, Spain.

Virginia Domingo de la Fuente
Virginia Domingo de la Fuente is the President of the Scientific Society of Restorative Justice, tutor at the University of Geneva and coordinator of the Restorative Justice Service in Castilla and Leon, Burgos, Spain.