The International Journal of Restorative Justice

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Issue Online first, 2023 Expand all abstracts

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’.

Embracing uncertainty: A narrative case study on teacher-learner relationships through restorative justice practices in education

Keywords uncertainty, analogous processing, self-justification
Authors Zachary Schafer and Guy Trainin
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice practices in educational settings recognising trauma and extreme life circumstances have become increasingly relevant since the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing impacts of climate change. This narrative inquiry uses Clandinin and Connelly’s suggestions for data collection and narrative structure to describe the interactions between one teacher and one learner over the course of two years in a programme created as an alternative to school suspension. Using a dual framework combining a variety of perspectives from restorative justice practices and Chen’s model of uncertainty management in science education, the researchers iteratively and thematically analysed the teacher-learner interactions. The storied results unveiled the layered complexities within ongoing restorative conversations and relationships.

Zachary Schafer
Zachary Schafer is a Doctoral Student at the College of Education and Human Sciences of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.

Guy Trainin
Guy Trainin is Professor of Education at the University of California-Riverside, USA. Corresponding author: Zachary Schafer at zschafer3@gmail.com.

The restorative nature of Aymara Indigenous justice in Bolivia

Keywords Indigenous justice, restorative justice, Bolivia, Latin America
Authors Paolo Baffero, Ali Wardak and Kate Williams
AbstractAuthor's information

    Much current Western scholarship suggests that the modern idea of restorative justice is not totally a recent invention; it shares a common basis with and is similar to Indigenous justice. This article draws on fieldwork concerning Indigenous justice in Bolivia and contends that it has little in common with restorative justice. In much of the Western world, modern justice systems are largely retributive, based on individual blame and punishment, and restorative mechanisms are used rarely as complementary. Our Bolivian fieldwork revealed Indigenous justice to be a full-fledged, intrinsically restorative system of justice. This article will briefly set out conceptualisations and practices of restorative justice in the Western world before going on to consider in some detail the Indigenous system in Bolivia. It will contend that it is the differences between Western restorative justice and Indigenous justice which are more important to a proper understanding of Indigenous justice. It will make the argument that linking the two may be damaging to the comprehension and survival of Indigenous justice and may also inhibit the real potential of Indigenous justice to enrich justice practices in Western countries.

Paolo Baffero
Dr Paolo Baffero is Research Assistant in Criminology, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom.

Ali Wardak
Dr Ali Wardak is Professor of Criminology, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom.

Kate Williams
Dr Kate Williams is Professor of Criminology, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, United Kingdom. Corresponding author: Paolo Baffero at paolo.baffero@southwales.ac.uk.

Mitigating risk in restorative justice

Keywords risk, restorative justice, complex cases, facilitator
Authors Joanna Shapland, Jamie Buchan, Steve Kirkwood e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    Assessing and mitigating risks is essential for safe restorative justice practice, and yet very little has been written on this topic. In this study, we addressed this issue by interviewing 30 experienced restorative justice practitioners from eleven jurisdictions across Europe to explore how they assessed and mitigated risks. Our findings show that assessment and mitigation practices focused on risks relating to the restorative justice process proceeding safely, especially in relation to any feelings of safety for the potential participants, rather than, for example, risks of re-offending. Although practitioners reported some cases being ‘too risky’ for restorative justice, this was rare, and was usually due to the requirements for restorative justice being violated, such as the offender denying responsibility, the presence of threats or coercion, or mental ill health or substance abuse that prevented communication, rather than the type or severity of the offence. Rather than the standardised or actuarial risk assessment tools used in other criminal justice contexts, risk assessment and mitigation in restorative justice practice is being done through processes based on restorative justice practices and principles; that is, through discussion, negotiation, and mutual agreement.

Joanna Shapland
Joanna Shapland is the Edward Bramley Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Law at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Jamie Buchan
Jamie Buchan is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, UK.

Steve Kirkwood
Steve Kirkwood is Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Estelle Zinsstag
Estelle Zinsstag is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, UK and a Senior Research Associate at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, University of Leuven, Belgium. Corresponding author: Joanna Shapland at j.m.shapland@sheffield.ac.uk.

Becoming a restorative university: The role of restorative justice in higher education

Keywords restorative practices, higher education, tertiary education, university, restorative justice
Authors David Karp
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article describes the concept of a restorative university, an organisation that embraces restorative justice principles and practices. The article reviews the emergence of contemporary restorative justice; a framework for restorative justice in higher education; implementation in student affairs; the place of restorative justice in academic affairs; restorative justice and organisational culture; what we know about campus implementation, including results of a survey of universities; and suggestions for practical next steps for higher education institutions to become more restorative. Wherever possible, the article references restorative applications globally but predominantly focuses on university campuses in the United States.

David Karp
Daivd R. Karp is a Professor of Leadership Studies and Director of the Centre for Resorative Justice at the University of San Diego,University of San Diego, USA. Corresponding author: Daivd R. Karp at dkarp@sandiego.edu.

The ambiguous practice of restorative justice

Observations on conflict mediation in a police context

Keywords restorative justice, conflict mediation, community policing, action research, case studies
Authors Ronald van Steden and Gert Jan Slump
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses conflict mediation as an addition to community police work. After contextualising our topic within the scientific literature about restorative justice and restorative policing, the article presents six in-depth cases involving neighbour disputes, a street fight, domestic violence and non-consensual sharing of nude images. Our action-oriented research aims to describe the mediation sessions and evaluate them in light of three core principles of restorative justice. The conflicting parties must (a) voluntarily enter into a dialogue, and during this dialogue, the mediator needs to (b) address their individual needs and (c) promote healing, repair and restoration. We conclude that it is challenging to apply these principles fully in everyday practices of mediation in a community policing context. First, the symbolic dimension of police authority may sometimes have played a role in bringing conflicting parties together voluntarily, where previous attempts had failed. Second, in one case, the underaged victim and the offender were represented by their parents, leaving the protagonists’ needs out of the equation. Finally, we did not witness full healing and restoration in any of the cases. Instead, the mediator and the conflicting parties tried to arrive at pragmatic conflict resolution based on individual needs.

Ronald van Steden
Ronald van Steden is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Gert Jan Slump
Gert Jan Slump is an independent criminological researcher and consultant.