The International Journal of Restorative Justice

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Issue Online First, 2023 Expand all abstracts

Indigenous justice and restorative justice: exploring perceptions of convergence and divergence in British Columbia and Saskatchewan

Keywords Indigenous justice, restorative justice, convergence, divergence
Authors Muhammad Asadullah, Alana Abramson, Xilonen Hanson Pastran e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is a plethora of literature conflating the terms Indigenous justice and restorative justice. This collaborative action research project examined the relationship between Indigenous justice and restorative justice in British Columbia (BC) and Saskatchewan (SK), Canada. This qualitative study employed a decolonising research method. As a result, the research was overseen by a community advisory committee, composed of justice stakeholders and knowledge keepers in BC and SK. Data were collected through 26 key-informant interviews (seventeen from BC and nine from SK) and 33 focus group discussions in eight communities in BC and SK. Our findings included the definitions of restorative justice and Indigenous justice and points of convergence and divergence. This study unearthed a wide range of distinctions between Indigenous justice and restorative justice. According to some participants, ‘there’s absolutely no similarities’ between restorative justice and Indigenous justice, whereas to others restorative justice and Indigenous justice are like the ‘difference between chocolate and vanilla ice cream’. This study demonstrates the importance of dialogue between justice stakeholders and Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and communities to reveal the unique and important distinctions between Indigenous justice and restorative justice. This study ends with a discussion on limitations and areas for future research.

Muhammad Asadullah
Muhammad Asadullah is assistant professor in the Department of Justice Studies of the University of Regina, Canada.

Alana Abramson
Alana Abramson is a criminology instructor at the Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Canada.

Xilonen Hanson Pastran
Xilonen Hanson Pastran is a law student at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Jori Fulks
Jori Fulks graduated from Simon Fraser University, Canada. Corresponding author: Muhammad Asadullah at Muhammad.Asadullah@uregina.ca.

Transformative justice and restorative justice approaches to campus sexual assault: a scoping review

Keywords restorative justice, transformative justice, campus sexual assault, scoping review
Authors Sheila M. McMahon, M. Candace Christensen and Jelena Todić
AbstractAuthor's information

    Campus sexual assault (CSA) remains a persistent public health problem on U.S. college campuses. Changes in U.S. federal law have highlighted the need for responses to campus sexual assault (CSA) that meet the needs of persons harmed, increase meaningful accountability for persons responsible, and engage the whole campus in prevention efforts. These changes have simultaneously tightened standards of evidence in institutionalized campus adjudication methods and expanded resolution options to include processes such as restorative justice and transformative justice. The objective of this scoping review is to synthesize the available academic and grey literature about restorative justice and transformative justice responses to CSA up to September 2020. A total of 96 sources were reviewed, and 76 met the final inclusion criteria. For both restorative justice and transformative justice, there is a body of theory and praxis but minimal empirically established findings. Based on the available theoretical frameworks and praxis narratives, both restorative justice and transformative justice centre survivors’ needs, offer healing for individuals, and emphasize accountability for persons responsible for violence; however, restorative justice and transformative justice fundamentally differ in how they conceptualise the root cause of sexual violence and, therefore, what harms they aim to repair. While restorative justice in higher education settings focuses on interpersonal harms resulting from sexual violence, transformative justice emphasises repairing interpersonal harms resulting from sexual violence and transforming the structural conditions that enable sexual violence. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Sheila M. McMahon
Sheila M. McMahon, Associate Professor, Barry University, School of Social Work, Miami, Florida, USA.

M. Candace Christensen
M. Candace Christensen, Associate Professor, College for Health, Community and Policy, Department of Social Work, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Jelena Todić
Jelena Todić, Assistant Professr, College for Health, Community and Policy, Department of Social Work, Consequences of Trauma Working Group, Center for Community-Based and Applied Health Research The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA. Corresponding author: Sheila M. McMahon at smcmahon@barry.edu. Author Note: We have no known conflict of interest to disclose. Funding: No funding was utilised to support this scoping review.

Exploring exemplarity in in-prison restorative rehabilitation to recover normativity

Keywords exemplarity, prison, rehabilitation programming, peer support, problematic drug abuse
Authors Jane Anderson
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ambiguous status of a prisoner as citizen has implications for rehabilitation and reintegration. Using Mazzucato’s (2017) philosophical work on the responsive-restorative model of justice and the potential of exemplarity as a guiding theory, this article explores how prisoners can be incentivised to become fully citizens. Three concepts for action have been identified in Mazzucato’s work: the virtuous zone, rules of conduct and exemplarity. These actions are reviewed and used to compare in-prison retributive practices and those exercised in a restorative rehabilitation programme which brings together prisoners and surrogate crime victims. The programme was designed in response to high rates of crime and incarceration associated with drug possession and supply in a regional city in Australia. The article concludes with a summary and findings that show how restorative responses can challenge the consequences of prison segregation, recover agency directed to voluntary compliance and exemplify normative conduct. It also demonstrates that restorative rehabilitation can have a residual effect. Some prisoners on release connected with a peer support service, the same organisation from which surrogate victims were drawn for the programme. Restorative rehabilitation is thus shown to have potential for giving ongoing support to prisoners in their transition to full citizenship.

Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson is Adjunct Research Fellow at School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia. Corresponding author: Jane Anderson at jane.anderson@uwa.edu.au. Acknowledgements: My thanks go to the prison superintendent and staff for supporting the restorative rehabilitation initiative. I am grateful to the peer reviewers for their constructive criticism which has led to substantial improvements to this article.

Assessing the restorativeness of American school discipline programmes

Keywords restorative index, American schools, restorativeness, restorative practices, restorative justice in education
Authors Jeremy Olson, Nadine M. Connell, Nina Barbieri e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice principles have been lauded for their potential to decrease school-based disparities in discipline, especially owing to the disproportionately negative impact on minority students and students with disabilities. Despite high levels of financial investment, little remains known about the quality of restorative justice programmes or the specific mechanism by which restorativeness is embedded into these approaches. Using the Olson and Sarver (2021) Restorative Index as a validation tool, this study assesses the level of restorativeness of twelve school-based restorative justice programmes. These programmes were identified and included on the basis of the fact that they were implemented within a U.S. school, sought to address a specific student behaviour or set of student behaviours through a restorative practice, and were subject to at least one outcomes study available in an English language journal, thesis/dissertation or report. Findings indicate a mixed level of restorative quality between programmes, with outward engagement domains of restorativeness less likely to be evident in programmes when compared with more traditionally known elements of restorative justice. In addition, U.S.-based school restorative justice programmes continue to rely on discipline-oriented practices despite claims of change. We discuss implications for both the Restorative Index and the restorative justice discipline.

Jeremy Olson
Jeremy Olson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Pennsylvania State University Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, PA, USA.

Nadine M. Connell
Nadine M. Connell, PhD. Associate Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Queensland, Australia.

Nina Barbieri
Nina Barbieri, PhD, Associate Professor and Assistant Department Chair, Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work, University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX, USA.

Diana Rodriguez
Diana Rodriguez, MSCJ, Doctoral student, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX, USA. Corresponding author: Jeremy Olson, jao@psu.edu.

Access_open Restorative justice in cases of gender-based violence against women: perspectives on shame, symbolic interactionism and agency

Keywords restorative justice, gender-based violence against women, shame, symbolic interactionism, agency
Authors Marta Lamanuzzi
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article addresses the debated issue of the appropriateness of restorative justice programmes in cases of gender-based violence against women perpetrated by men. After brief references to the literature on the topic, a few points for reflection will be offered combining different perspectives. Some concern the role of shame, from the victim blaming phenomenon – which often affects women victims of gender-based violence – to the so-called ‘reintegrative shaming’ of the offender theorised by Braithwaite. Others are drawn from symbolic interactionism, applied to restorative processes involving these types of crime. Finally, the importance of agency – a key point in restorative practices – is emphasised as it fosters the self-esteem of the victim and the rehabilitation of the perpetrator. These perspectives support the conclusion that there are no valid reasons to exclude restorative justice in cases of gender-based violence against women.

Marta Lamanuzzi
Marta Lamanuzzi is a post-doc researcher in Criminal Law and Criminology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. Corresponding author: marta.lamanuzzi@unicatt.it. Acknowledgements: This article has been published thanks to the financial support of Regione Lombardia in the framework of the project ‘Capire, prevenire e contrastare la violenza contro le donne’ (ID. 3250856) - Call ‘Promozione di progetti e/o percorsi formativi nel sistema universitario lombardo sulle tematiche di prevenzione e contrasto alla violenza contro le donne, 2021-2022, dd.g.r. n. 4643/2021 e 5081/2021’.