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Restorative justice - the real story


Author(s)Daly, Kathleen
Title Restorative Justice - the real story
Source Revised plenary address , 12 July 2001,Scottish Criminology Conference Edinburgh 21-22 September 2000
Date 2001
Document type Conference paper
Summary In this paper the author discusses four myths disseminated by advocates of restorative justice. The first myth is that restorative justice is the opposite of retributive justice and all the elements associated with restorative justice are good and those associated with retributive justice are bad. The second myth explored is that restorative justice uses indigenous justice practices and was the dominant form of pre-modern justice. The third myth is that restorative justice is a 'care' (or feminine) response to crime in comparison to a 'justice' (or masculine) response. The fourth myth is that restorative justice can be expected to produce major changes in people. The author suggests that more attention needs to be given to the reality, to what is really happening in and resulting from restorative justice practices. Studies have shown that conferences succeed expectations of procedural justice with victims and offenders viewing the process and outcomes as fair. However there appears to be limits on how far conferences can repair the harm for offenders and victims. The author concludes that face-to-face encounters between victims and offenders is a practice worth maintaining and perhaps even enlarging but we should not expect it to deliver strong stories of repair and goodwill most of the time.
Keywords Restorative justice; conferences; retributive justice; justice myths

Restorative justice