The International Journal of Restorative Justice

About this journal  

Subscribe to the email alerts for this journal here to receive notifications when a new issue is at your disposal.

Issue 1, 2024 Expand all abstracts

Gemma Varona Martínez
Gemma Varona is Director of the Basque Institute of Criminology (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU) and Professor of Victimology and Criminal Policy at the Faculty of Law of Donostia/San Sebastián (UPV/EHU). Corresponding author: Gema Varona Martínez at gemmamaria.varona@ehu.eus. Acknowledgement: I would like to express my deep gratitude to all members of the EofEs for their alchemy and courage.

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 Professor, 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.

Can Indigenous truth commissions overcome the legacies and contemporary effects of colonialism?

A study on the Australian-Canadian experience to explore possible paths in Argentina

Keywords restoratrive justice, transitional justice, truth commission, Canada, Australia, Argentina
Authors Valeria Vegh Weis and Chris Cunneen
AbstractAuthor's information

    While restorative justice has been extensively growing in democratic settings, less explored is its connection with transitional justice or, in other words, there have been insufficient attempts to explore the possibility of applying restorative justice mechanisms in countries dealing with the aftermath of mass violence. Seeking to fill this gap, this article addresses the connections between transitional justice and Indigenous demands. Particularly, the study focuses on the role of truth commissions as a restorative justice mechanism with the potential of creating a new narrative on human rights violations (or a ‘narrative turn’). The article then analyses the experience of Indigenous truth commissions in Australia and Canada, considering them within their political contexts and providing a critical analysis of the results. Finally, the study analyses the Argentinean case and the possibility for a truth commission to uncover the legacy of human rights violations against Indigenous communities. It also considers how the comparative experience assists in assessing the pertinence of having a truth commission in Argentina. Altogether, the article aims to explore the role of truth commissions, applied through a decolonial, transformative and actor-centred perspective, and their potential to challenge the narratives that have largely legitimised or denied harms against Indigenous peoples.

Valeria Vegh Weis
Valeria Vegh Weis is Research Fellow at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Chris Cunneen
Chris Cunneen is Professor of Criminology at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Corresponding author: Valeria Vegh Weis at valeria.vegh-weis@uni-konstanz.de. The authors thank the reviewers for their insightful, respectful and thought-provoking comments.

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 the School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia, Australia. 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. Corresponding author: Jane Anderson at jane.anderson@uwa.edu.au.

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.

The spaces for restorative justice practices in a forensic inpatient mental health hospital: a thematic analysis of group case supervision.

Keywords restorative justice, secure, forensic, inpatient, mental health, implementation
Authors James Tapp and Chelsea Verrinder
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice practices are relatively new to forensic mental health settings. Therefore, there is limited understanding of where and how these practices might feature in this work. The current study explored the spaces for them in a forensic inpatient hospital drawing upon data from group case supervision. Five themes were developed from three concurrent monthly case supervision sessions attended by fourteen restorative justice practitioners. Challenges to using restorative justice practices where participants had mental health needs were evident, but these needs were not thought to preclude their use. Practitioners brought up implications for workload. Assumptions about the principle of neutrality were raised, where staff had different roles in the process. Staff as participants in restorative justice practices raised considerations around professional identity and vulnerability. Restorative justice practices offered unique and complementary ways to repair harm, but these may not always fit within the values or needs of the organisation. The idea of bringing together people affected by harm can raise worries and may feel counter-intuitive to practices that reduce risk. It was important that new staff were made aware of restorative justice opportunities and that policies and procedures were in place and communicated to protect and foster its new status.

James Tapp
James Tapp, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, London, United Kingdom and psychologist at Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne, United Kingdom.

Chelsea Verrinder
Chelsea Verrinder is a Nurse Degree Apprentice at Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne and Buckinghamshire New University, United Kingdom. Corresponding author: James Tapp at james.tapp@westlondon.nhs.uk.

Grazia Mannozzi
Grazia Mannozzi is Professor of Criminal Law and of Restorative Justice and Penal Mediation at the University of Insubria (Como, Italy). She is founder and director of the Restorative Justice and Mediation Study Centre (CeSGReM) at the same university. Corresponding author: Grazia Mannozzi at grazia.mannozzi@uninsubria.it.

Rosemary Howell
Dr. Rosemary Howell is a Professorial Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and a former Secretary General of the Law Council of Australia. She has been working as a legal educator for more than 25 years. Corresponding author: Rosemary Howell at rosemary@strategicaction.com.au.

Ian D. Marder
Ian D. Marder, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Criminology at the School of Law and Criminology, Maynooth University, Maynooth (Ireland). Corresponding author: Ian Marder at ian.marder@mu.ie.
Conversations on restorative justice

A talk with Judith Herman

Authors Albert Dzur
Author's information

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA. Corresponding author: Albert Dzur at awdzur@bgsu.edu. Acknowledgement: many thanks to Marlies Talay for the transcription of this conversation.

Andreea Ioana Zota
Andreea Ioana Zota is a PhD Candidate in Criminology at the University of Montréal, Canada. Corresponding author: Andreea Ioana Zota at andreea.ioana.zota@umontreal.ca.

Keith Hickman
Keith Hickman is Vice President for Partnerships at the IIRP Graduate School, Bethlehem, USA. Corresponding author: Keith Hickman at khickman@iirp.edu.

Susan Wolper
Susan Wolper is a PhD candidate at the Pepperdine University’s Global Leadership and Change PhD programme, Malibu, USA. Corresponding author: Susan Wolper at swolper@wolpergroup.com.

Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones is the owner, founder, and lead consultant of Pathways to Restorative Leadership LLC and a lecturer at the IIRP Graduate School, Bethlehem, PA USA. Corresponding author: Kevin Jones at kjones@iirp.edu.