In Le Guin's Earthsea Quartet, knowledge of the name of a thing or person guarantees control over their destiny. In a world where light and darkness co-exist and where dragons are an extension of humans, a name is the means with which one can achieve one's vision of the world. If utopia is the individual projection of a supposedly collective ideal, then knowledge of names is the vehicle for the realization of one's own utopia, which may well come into conflict with the utopias of others. However, Earthsea is not simply a series of battles between individual utopists. Earthsea itself constitutes a precarious and nontraditional utopia, where antithetical sides co-exist and neither prevails forever. As its name denotes, "earth" and "sea," darkness and light, tombs and open seas, tiny islands and eternal journeys operate together to produce the setting for the novels and enable the chase of an ever-elusive knowledge. For as the utopists in Earthsea find out, knowledge can only be complete if it also comprises its Jungian opposite, namely ignorance. In an attempt to explore the relation between utopia, knowledge, and ignorance, this article employs psychology and linguistics, and constructs a description of a "just" world which remains necessarily utopian.
This essay reflects on an article by Katy Butler in the Science Section of the New York Times of February 28, 2006. It argues that Butler discusses sibling abuse mainly as a biologically rooted phenomenon and does not clarify its social sources and dynamics. The essay presents the social causes of sibling abuse and suggests approaches toward its short‐term reduction and long‐term prevention.
This paper focuses on the notions of national imaginary and imagined communities bequeathed to us by Benedict Anderson, and their impingements upon South Korean cinema of the past decade, namely Park Chan Uk's Joint Security Area, Kang Je Gyu's Swiri, and Kim Hyeon-Jeong's Comrade. These three films are starting points for understanding how South Korean cinema re-configures the idea of a collective Koreaneither South nor North Korea, but simply Korea the undivided Fatherlandin relation to questions of violence and its possible dystopic or utopic functions within the Korea peninsula, splintered and marred by opposing ideologies. With plots in which a traumatic history of violence is portrayed as a result of individuals blindly identifying with an ideology of nationalism, these three films urge us to rethink nationalism's claims as a justifiable form of ideology.
This paper discusses questions of borders, communities, and refugees through an examination of the work of film director Theo Angelopoulos, in particular his so‐called “Balkan trilogy,” which includes Eternity and a Day. In these films, Angelopoulos looks at the nature of borders and communities and at what they do to people in general and refugees in particular. I argue that the refugees cannot be placed in any straightforward fashion according to the logics of political sovereignty and national divisions. They are a heterogeneous excess from the constitution of borders and divisions, yet by making visible this heterogeneity, Angelopoulos shows the contingency of political and national borders. As a consequence, the critique of the injustices resulting from existing borders must start from what is heterogeneous to them. Only in this way is it possible to transform existing structures. However, this does not mean that politics should aim simply at the elimination of borders and exclusion. Rather, we must accept the ineradicability of borders and exclusion while contesting any particular ones.
In recent decades, restorative practices have become an important aspect of service delivery in both youth justice and in the care and protection of children. Restorative justice, as an overarching term, has also been used to describe restorative practices, particularly with respect to the use of family group conferencing, across these two practice domains. There are, however, significant differences in these two areas of practice that create theoretical and philosophical tensions when attempting to incorporate them under a restorative justice banner. This article explores these tensions and concludes that while care and protection practice has restorative elements, significant differences set it apart from restorative justice. In arguing for greater clarity between the two at a theoretical and philosophical level, the paper encourages us to explore important opportunities to enrich each practice domain with the values and principles of both.
Early in Plato's Republic, two cities are depicted, one healthy and one with 'a fever' - the so-called luxurious city. The operative difference between the two cities is that the citizens of the latter 'have surrendered themselves to the endless acquisition of money and have overstepped the limit of their necessities.' The luxury of this city requires the seizure of neighboring lands and consequently a standing army to defend those lands and the city's wealth. According to the main character, Socrates, war thus finds its origin in communities living beyond the natural limits of necessity. In short, the healthy or true city is sustainable, limiting its consumption to actual needs, while the luxurious city seems not to be sustainable, living beyond its needs in a perpetual quest for more. Plato spends the rest of the Republic attempting to reveal the political organization and virtues - in particular, the virtue of moderation - necessary for the luxurious city to be just, healthy, and thereby sustainable. The contrasting images of the two cities and Plato's subsequent discussion raise important questions about the interrelations between justice, consumption, and sustainability. In this paper we appropriate Plato's images of these metaphorical cities to discuss over-consumption and unsustainable practices by the nations of the contemporary 'first world,' which in turn perpetuate poverty and environmental degradation in the nations of the 'two-thirds world.' Matters of equity and justice are preeminent in our discussion.
While Paul McCold’s intent to clarify the compatibility of restorative justice and community justice conceptual frameworks is laudable, his effort provides as much confusion as clarity (McCold, 200411.
McCold , P . (2004). Paradigm muddle: The threat to restorative justice posed by its merger with community justice. Contemporary Justice Review, 7: 13–35. [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references, this issue). This piece identifies some of the conflicts inherent in the roots of the development and growth of restorative justice. It also raises concerns regarding how restorative justice theoreticians and practitioners consider community, the role of strangers, empowerment, prevention, and punishment within restorative frameworks. The authors of this piece conclude that, while it remains important to safeguard the underlying principles of restorative justice, it is also necessary to remain open to new possibilities and to new ideas.
Genocide struck Rwanda in 1994. Since then, national and international trials have endeavored to promote reconciliation, deterrence, peace, justice, and human rights. This article posits a disconnect between these trials and the attainment of their avowed goals. This disconnect emerges in part from the influential agendas of international lawyers who equate selective criminal prosecution with the "rule of law" and espouse criminal prosecution as the preferred and uniform response to mass atrocity. Creating a presumption in favor of criminal prosecution has dampened the need to explore whether such trials actually are suitable for the particular afflicted society. A socio-legal analysis suggests that Rwanda is precisely a place where constructed notions of what "rule of law" ought to be are supplanting the need to implement reconstructive policies that may be best for Rwanda. In particular, the populist nature of the Rwandan genocide, coupled with the vast level of victimization, suggest that a shame-based restorative approach may be more successful in promoting reconciliation, deterrence, and peace than the guilt-based retributive approach currently in vogue. This article argues that, when the law blames occurrences of genocidal evil largely on the existence of some evil people, it obscures the fact that so many people, to varying degrees of complicity, are required for this evil to result in so many deaths.
The unique contribution of the restorative justice perspective is its emphasis on present, interpersonal practice. Restorative justice pursues, but does not necessarily achieve, mutually respectful and empowering speech. This emphasis on communicative engagement is paramount. It informs the other differences that Paul McCold (200412.
McCold , P . (2004). Paradigm muddle: The threat to restorative justice posed by the merger with community justice. Contemporary Justice Review, 7: 13–35. [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references, this issue) identifies between restorative justice and community justice: for example, the necessary involvement and decision‐making authority of particular persons affected by a crime, in restorative justice programs. If justice is practice, then restorative justice programs should be evaluated phenomenologically.
McCold , P . (2004). Paradigm muddle: The threat to restorative justice posed by the merger with community justice. Contemporary Justice Review, 7: 13–35. [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references, this issue) argues that community justice and balanced and restorative justice (BARJ) models confuse people and distort the restorative justice movement. We argue that there are many sources of confusion and explain the differences between these approaches. Neither model poses any threat to restorative justice, and both community justice and BARJ can garner new support for restorative justice. We respond to misleading portrayals in McCold’s account of these movements (and of our writings about them) and suggest that more time should be spent on truly critical debates within the restorative justice movement, and in confronting real barriers to restorative justice reforms.
In this essay I examine the importance of social justice to my identity and the changing interpretation of my "justice consciousness" resulting from changes in my work life. Drawing on my academic experience as well as my experience as an attorney, I describe the meaning that social justice has for me. I also examine the connections that I see between social injustice and the operation of the critical justice system.
The purpose of this paper will be to determine whether the conditions that exist in present-day Russia are congruent with Foucault's claim that power in modern societies is not ensured by law and punishment but by normalization and control, which go beyond the state and its apparatuses, and that law plays an increasingly subordinate role within contemporary disciplinary society. I will also see what conclusions can be drawn from the Russian-Soviet case that are relevant to evaluating the paradigms supplied by Foucault in deciphering the modalities of power in the modern world. In what sense can he help us understand how discipline and law in Imperial and Soviet Russia created the necessary conditions for the emergence of the Russian Mafia? Law has been transformed in the hands of the Russian Mafia and has expanded its spheres of influence rather than being displaced. The conditions that exist in present-day Russia can be applied to Foucault's claim that power in modern societies is not ensured by law and punishment but by normalization and control which go beyond the state and its apparatuses. But it is not the case that law plays an increasingly subordinate role in present-day Russia. Rather, it is no longer controlled by the sovereign power of the monarchy or by the Soviet state and its apparatuses, but is now predominately controlled by the Russian Mafia.
Victim-offender mediation (VOM) programs have gained considerable popularity in juvenile courts, yet little is known about how these programs actually influence offenders. This paper explores young offenders' subjective experiences of voluntary participation in a county‐run VOM program in Minnesota. The authors conducted in‐depth, qualitative interviews with seven young offenders (aged 15-24), and four sets of their parents, who had recently participated in a VOM session with their crime victim(s). Data analysis revealed varying motivations for the offenders' participation in the sessions, a range of emotional consequences, and some potential for enduring behavior change. Based on these findings, the authors propose guidelines for future practice and research with young people involved in mediation, conferencing, and restorative justice programs.
States emerging from conflict increasingly seek ways in which to address the violence and human rights abuses of the past in order to move forward into a more peaceful future. The initial responses to mass atrocities were based in legal processes focused on the punishment of the person responsible for the harm. The inadequacy of such an approach resulted in the introduction of a variety of new goals in the transitional period, including the abstract notion of reconciliation which is increasingly advanced as the central goal in dealing with the legacy of the past. This article argues that the failure to examine the relationship between a discourse originally based on human rights and legal approaches and the introduction of reconciliation has only added new challenges rather than resolved existing ones and therefore must be re‐examined. The article also argues that no single approach should take prominence in addressing mass atrocities. Rather a range of options should be available to victims, in particular given the relative youth and inexperience of approaches to violent conflict.
As a bourgeoning and widely recognized critical-emancipationist program, critical race theory (CRT) retains its commitment to treating the social construction of race as central to the way that people of color are ordered and constrained in society. In advocating for justice for such 'minority' populations as Blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays, Indians, and women of color, CRT has in recent years ramified into several area programs including Latino/a critical studies, critical queer studies, critical race feminism, and critical White studies. Despite its important analytical and activist breakthroughs in rooting out racial injustice, we argue that CRT needs to sharpen its critical edge. In order to do so, it must confront and resolve the three problems of (1) the rule of law, (2) theory, and (3) colorism.
The first reports that the Obama administration had deported a record number of people came as a surprise to many. As both Presidents Obama and Bush have attempted to pass moderate immigration reform laws that allowed for legalization, we must ask from where the impetus for driving up the deportation rate has come. The explanation leads to the passage of Secure Communities in 2008, which allowed state and local law enforcement to identify undocumented immigrants through federal information sharing. I seek to explain the social dynamics behind the passage of Secure Communities starting with a review of previous cycles of rapid deportation in US history. I then examine the political activities of the contemporary immigrant restrictionist movement for an understanding of their role.
Religious freedom claims by American Indian prisoners are disfavored in law and policy, even more so than most other prisoner civil rights claims. This disfavor reflects the continuing influence of the cultural distance between traditional Indians and Christianity, a distance with an unfortunate history from the Indian point of view. The salutary effects of Christian religion within prisons have been assumed for as long as prisons have existed, an assumption based upon scant evidence. Treating Indian religious expression as inferior to Christian religious expression within prisons is often allowed by law, but it is insupportable in policy without reference to the historical power relationship between Indians and the dominant culture. Indian spirituality, like Christianity, can engage prisoners in the moral discourse demanded by the tenets of restorative justice. Accommodation of Indian spirituality is as much in the public interest as accommodation of religion within prisons at all.
The STudent Accountability and Restorative Research (STARR) Project is a multi-campus study of college student disciplinary practices in the USA, comparing traditional conduct hearings that use restorative justice practices alongside traditional college student misconduct hearings. A coherent set of learning goals in college student conduct administration and a robust data-set capable of measuring student learning across different types of disciplinary practice, in particular, comparing traditional ‘model code’ practice with emerging restorative justice processes are examined. Integrating several student development theories, we identify six student development goals: just community/self-authorship, active accountability, interpersonal competence, social ties to institution, procedural fairness, and closure. The STARR Project includes data from 18 college and university campuses across the USA. We analyzed 659 student conduct cases based on surveys of student offenders, conduct officers, and other participants in the conduct processes. Using multiple regression to control for a variety of influences, we determined that the type of conduct process used is the single most influential factor in student learning. In addition, restorative justice practices were routinely found to have a greater impact on student learning than model code hearings.
In many of our nation’s prisons and jails, the goal of achieving stability has been buried beneath the demand for institutional order. Ill-qualified correctional administrators having failed to achieve stability by overlooking the organizational commitments required from key institutional actors are satisfied in maintaining a chaotic status quo. That is, tolerating a condition of a tenuous order where inmate placation, rather than reformulation, is the guiding policy to neutralize institutional instability. An additional state of classification, order, is proposed here to the two existing states of classification descriptive of the social climates within correctional institutions–instability and stability. In doing so an emerging recognition of the dissimilarities between the states of order and stability are given due consideration. Finally, the vision of a humanistic correctional system held to be an inevitable outgrowth of the evolutionary process of social change is discussed.
Marginalized women in Canada who use criminalized drugs are often defined through institutional discourses of addiction, disease, poverty, sex work, and violence. Framed by many researchers as an at risk population, the fullness of these women’s lives is often rendered invisible, and the complexity, diversity, and range of experiences of their political and community work and their movement through the city are less often a topic of interest. This gap is addressed through an exploration of how some marginalized women come to know and experience themselves politically and physically, as part of a reflection upon their movement in and through the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Drawing from community-based research in the DTES over a four-month period with women in leadership roles at the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, a drug user union, this paper highlights the results from focus groups and brainstorming sessions. The participants disrupt conventional notions of addiction and criminalization through their political and community activities and their ongoing resistance to systemic discrimination.
The ongoing experiment of transitional justice (TJ) may soon find a new testing ground in Burundi. A long anticipated truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) is slated for establishment in the near future. Yet, Burundi continues to face longstanding and deep-rooted problems in its social, political, legal and institutional landscape that will fall outside of the remit of the TRC process, but that stand to negatively affect that process. Absent reform in these areas, the risk exists that the TRC may be judged as little more than inconsequential chatter by a population that has already suffered decades of violent conflict, social exclusion, corruption, and impunity. Informed by theories of transformative justice, this examination considers the potential shortcomings of TJ mechanisms where such reforms are yet to take place. It is argued that in contexts like Burundi, where impunity has become the norm, TJ mechanisms should form one part of a more combined process that ultimately aims to tackle the structures and dynamics that led to violence and that are reproduced in the present.
Literature defining ‘police legitimacy’ lacks qualitative research on those populations most often targeted by law enforcement agencies, including people of color in urban areas. This same literature defines police legitimacy as something unquestionable and automatic. Exploration of this concept is limited to strategies to increase public ‘trust’ in police, and public compliance to their authority. We address these limitations in the available scholarship through an analysis of interviews with a diverse sample of Oakland (CA) residents on their experiences with the Oakland Police Department (OPD). Their narratives are presented in the historical context of controversy, budget problems, federal investigations, and racialized violence that help to define the relationship between OPD and Oakland communities. Those interviewed, universally observed OPD’s failure to address the most common crime problems in the city, while others, particularly people of color, found them to be a personal or public threat to safety. Their narratives fly in the face of the manifest functions of municipal police forces, are fully supported by the contemporary empirical history of the OPD, and suggest the illegitimate authority – including the monopoly on the use of force – of organizations like OPD in a democratic society.
Victim retraction is almost universally viewed by criminal justice officials as a problematic outcome in cases of domestic violence, consequently policy initiatives have been designed to increase support to victims in the hope that more will decide to continue with their cases instead of retracting their statements. However our understanding of the various causes and full consequences of retraction remains limited. Using data from five Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs) in England and Wales, we analysed a sample of 216 domestic violence cases to assess the relative influence of victim characteristics, offence characteristics, features of case processing, and evidence available from case files on the decision to retract. Despite the innovative courts, each embedded in strong multi‐agency partnerships, half of domestic violence victims still chose to retract. The policy implications of these results are discussed in the context of current British government initiatives designed to `Narrow the Justice Gap' and `Bring Offenders to Justice' while at the same attempting to locate the victim “at the heart of the criminal justice system.
Restorative justice has grown in popularity around the world, and various restorative initiatives are in place or are being trialled in many countries. New Zealand and Australia have the most experience with restorative justice in the form of conferencing primarily for young offenders, although conferencing for adult offenders is increasingly being used in these jurisdictions. In the Pacific Islands older forms of customary practices endure despite the introduction of modern Western justice systems. In this article we provide a comprehensive review of these developments to show the degree to which this region has embraced restorative justice as a way of responding to crime.
This study focuses on the perceptions of students who resided in a university residential hall regarding methods of conflict resolution and concepts of restorative justice. Furthermore, comparisons of perceptions between residents who participated in restorative justice workshops with residents who did not are also made. Variables studied include: understanding the perspectives of others, willingness to approach others, consideration of how to approach others, and awareness of communication styles during conflict situations. Additional considerations include a willingness for inclusion, providing perspectives, and listening and compromising during conflict situations. Also explored is usage of dialogue as well as residents becoming better equipped to approach others, and utilizing or sharing information about restorative justice concepts with others following restorative justice workshops. Findings suggest that residents exposed to restorative concepts during workshops were more likely than non-attenders to listen to the perspectives of others regarding conflict situations. The results indicate that a number of the residents within the university housing setting shared and utilized restorative justice techniques with others following attendance of the restorative workshops.
As one enters a courthouse, its culture is communicated to its listening visitors. The manner in which the security guards speak; the length of time victims are kept waiting; the amount of bail a defendant is assessed; communicate messages to those who are paying attention. Domestic violence cases have long suffered from lenient treatment and dismissals in our criminal courts. This paper examines a unique explanation for this problem: the court’s local legal culture. The elements of two courts’ local legal culture that most profoundly impacted their processing of domestic violence cases are examined. Over a six month period, 23 in depth interviews were conducted with court workgroup members in two courts, one with a specialized domestic violence session and one without. Court room observations were used to supplement these interviews. The results were insightful and telling about how a court’s culture can, at times, be more influential on case processing than the law itself.
Through the community notification and sex offender registry laws that have been passed, the USA has created a strict legal environment that requires sex offenders to remain in compliance with the registry requirements placed on them by the state once they are released back into their communities. A variety of unintended consequences, such as unemployment and housing issues, have resulted from these laws and have the potential to impact the reentry efforts of released sex offenders. Using Sherman’s defiance theory as a theoretical lens, the current study examines the experiences of registered female sex offenders living in Florida. One hundred and six registered female sex offenders were surveyed to examine their experiences while on the registry, and whether those events influence feelings of defiance toward the registry and criminal justice systems. Results suggest that these offenders indeed experience unintended consequences due to their registration status, which in turn shows support for the four canonical elements of Sherman’s theory by inferring that these women feel unjustly punished and stigmatized. Research findings, policy implications, and limitations are discussed.
While the use of restorative justice within Western criminal justice systems continues to grow, its philosophical foundations remain uncertain. This inconclusiveness impacts directly upon the theoretical discussion of restorative justice and its relationship with existing paradigms of punishment, precipitating debate regarding its ability to integrate within justice systems governed by retributive paradigms. Specifically, this ambiguity of definition renders debate regarding the extent to which restorative justice philosophy exists as an alternative punishment or an alternative to punishment, and its existence as complementary or axiomatic to retributive justice unresolved. The philosophy of restorative justice, identifying its central features and addressing those previous attempts of contrasting restorative justice with the prevailing paradigm of retribution is explored here. However, it is suggested that aspirations of reconciling restorative justice philosophy with the retributive paradigm will be ultimately unsuccessful, due to the persistent latent ambiguity regarding the central foundation upon which restorative justice philosophy is built. Such concerns are also present when seeking to affirm the continued opposition of retributive and restorative justice.
As the American prison population increased, so did the correctional labor force. Correctional officers in the United States have gained increased professionalism and strong representation since the 1980s. Meanwhile, many states have pushed to privatize state-run prisons in order to dampen correctional spending. Although a substantial amount of research has been conducted on the comparison of costs and qualities of confinement in public and private prisons, correctional officer labor has so far not been examined. In Florida, Senate Bill 2038, proposing the single largest expansion of prison privatization in US history, was defeated in February 2012 in the state Senate mainly as a result of lobbying by state correctional workers. By investigating the question of correctional labor from a critical perspective and by comparing salary levels, work benefits, training, and education opportunities in public and private prisons in Florida, the professionalism of correctional officers in state-run prisons vs. the working conditions their counterparts face in private facilities is contrasted. The findings suggest that adverse working conditions for correctional officers in private prisons may negatively impact correctional costs and efficiency in the longer term.
The intolerance of, and discrimination against, gays and lesbians is not a new concept. Yet, as many parts of the world have begun to socially and legally recognize gay rights, in many ways, the USA has lagged behind. An overview of past and present lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social and criminal justice within the USA are presented. Also, specific recommendations are made for the future in an effort to put an end to this last acceptable prejudice.
Since the signing of the Northern Ireland peace agreement, a plethora of community-based prisoner self-help organizations has been established wherein former prisoners and staff, manage and deliver services to colleagues. By forging and maintaining their collective identities through community-based mutual aid, members of these self-help organizations not only have progressed to create individual change/assistance but have also developed and evolved to tackle serious wider social issues which impact the members of their organizations. This is a critical analysis of how the conditions of a post-conflict society can influence both the development and evolution of these organizations and also how members situate their claims about the self in the organization and beyond. Using the social movement framework, it is argued that the work of these self-help organizations have given rise to a new politics of identity – the ‘politically motivated’ ex-prisoner.
T his article examines the policing of protest, focusing directly on how the state (through various law enforcement agencies) uses space to control and pacify social movements. The research focuses specifically on the anti-corporate globalization movement, drawing from five protest events. While there is ample academic work dealing with globalization and the movement that opposes it (see e.g.
This article presents data on the common-sense rules by which cannabis users regulate their use. The data are drawn from a comparative study of representative samples of experienced cannabis users in two cities with many similarities but with different drug control regimes - Amsterdam, in the Netherlands (decriminalization), and San Francisco (criminalization). An extensive survey of experienced cannabis users in Amsterdam was replicated in San Francisco as a strategy for identifying differences in cannabis use patterns having to do with differences in drug control. Most respondents reported having such rules and applying them most of the time. These data indicate a patterned selectivity about when, where, with whom, and under what conditions experienced users found cannabis use appropriate and inappropriate. We suggest that these rules are key elements in a kind of etiquette that Becker called 'user culture.' Despite drug policy differences, we found overwhelming similarity in these rules across the two cities.
Given the current constellation of fiscal, moral, and logistical problems facing its corrections industry, the USA is on the cusp of a widespread penal reform movement. For the past 200-plus years, each US penal reform that intended to diminish penal practices resulted in widening the reach and deepening the roots of the nation’s punishment system. The question asked here is: is the restorative justice movement in the USA headed the way of past benevolent penal reforms? A new type of social movement: the regressive social movement model is presented. Three past benevolent penal reforms – the penitentiary, the adult reformatory movement, and parole are dissected in order to formulate a regressive reform profile and tested against the restorative justice movement. Field research finds that a repeat performance of regressive reform is in progress. In each of the eight restorative justice movement, variables demonstrate characteristics evident in past benevolent penal campaigns, resulting in a redirection of the campaign’s course.
Researchers have noted that restorative justice (RJ) practices in schools seem to improve targeted outcomes (e.g. decreased office visits, increased grades, etc.). It has been acknowledged that a ‘grassroots’ (beliefs level) buy-in from teachers is necessary for the creation of a school environment that is in line with the ideals of RJ. In the current study, an operational definition for restorative justice ideology (RJI) was developed and used as the basis for the creation of a RJI measurement instrument. This is intended to facilitate understandings of the influence that RJ training has on individuals at the beliefs level, and whether the degree to which an individual holds an RJI is associated with the degree to which RJ practices are carried out at the classroom and school level. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted, a three-factor model was selected, and the instrument was tested for reliability and validity. The RJI was then used to investigate whether other individual differences were related to the RJI of teachers. The outcome of this study was the development of a psychometrically sound RJI instrument. Perspective taking, empathic concern, pupil control ideology, personal distress, and self-efficacy were identified as important characteristics of RJI.
Academic coursework on restorative justice is rapidly emerging in professional schools. As members of applied disciplines entrusted to serve the public good, students must be readily able to transfer classroom-based learning into real world application. This paper describes a weekend intensive, multidisciplinary graduate school course and how three ‘real world’ assignments are used to integrate restorative justice values, principles, and practices. The assignments include interviews with criminal justice representatives, group projects that propose restorative justice practices for addressing social issues and legal cases, and participation in community-based programs. The assignments use processes grounded in experiential learning theory to underscore various dimensions of restorative justice. They also convey and deepen the understanding of restorative justice principles and practices while at the same time develop a sense of moral agency in students.
Limited research is published on teaching restorative justice in the criminal justice or justice studies curriculum in higher education. This article contributes to the discourse on restorative justice pedagogy by discussing a restorative justice seminar that is taught in a circle process with contemplative practices. Students learn the process of circles, one of the major processes in restorative justice practice, by modeling the practice with participation and leadership. Contemplative practices enhance the learning of restorative justice with meditation and reflection.
Over the past couple of decades there has emerged a new generation of movements for social justice that in particular embrace 'direct action' and 'do-it-yourself' activism - that is, the replacing of traditional forms of social movement 'protest' or political agitation with the direct, immediate, and autonomous enactment of the movement's alternative models for living. Among the more successful of these is Critical Mass, a global movement that 'dis-organizes' collective bicycle rides as inclusive and environmentally appropriate alternatives to automotive transit. Within Critical Mass, the dismissal of institutionalized policing power and the embracing of do-it-yourself activism have spawned the practice of 'corking,' whereby a Critical Mass bicyclist breaks away from the collective ride and stops to block a crossing street as the mass of riders rolls through a traffic intersection. The distinctly 'dis-organized' and culturally engaged dynamics of corking have in turn served to construct corking as an informal version of community policing - of policing both the transitory community of Critical Mass riders and the neighborhood communities through which the ride passes.
Victim–offender dialogues (VODs) often take place in organizational contexts, the stakeholders of which may very well be interested in measures of program effectiveness such as completion rates. When reported, completion rates typically ranged from 40 to 60%. At the time of this study, Ohio’s VOD program was completing just 25% of initiated cases and program stakeholders were unsure as to the cause(s). An archived data analysis was performed on a sample (n = 212) of the Office of Victim Services (OVS) completed and will-not-proceed files. One hypothesis and two research questions make use of archived data to explore this felony VOD context. The amount of time between the date the crime occurred and the date on which the dialogue file was initiated was not a significant predictor of dialogue completion. However, both victim-offender’s pre-crime relationship and dialogue file initiator were found to significantly impact dialogue completion rates. These results are considered in light of social exchange and uncertainty reduction theories.
The massacres that took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between 1996 and 2003 have posed an interesting challenge to the global community, specifically to its more powerful members. Ironically, the Tutsi-dominated government of Rwanda enjoys international recognition and benefits based on the genocide, Rwanda suffered in 1994, but continues to deny the same benefit to Hutus as they were accused of leading a counter-genocide campaign then in the DRC. While the people of the DRC, as well as human rights activists, call for justice for all who were affected, the government of Rwanda, strongly backed by a number of powerful international powers, opposed attempts by the international community to pin charges of genocide perpetrated by its army in the DRC on it. Because of the clear negation of the genocide report by the Rwandan government, the nature of human rights, human rights violations, and genocide criteria proposed and defended by key members of the international community in relation to the mass killings in the DRC are examined.