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Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice x Year 2019 x
Article

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

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
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

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2019
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.

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

Otmar Hagemann
Otmar Hagemann is professor of social work at Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Kiel, Germany.
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