A Conservative Response to Restorative Justice Essay

686 Words 3 Pages
How would a conservative reply to a proposal for restorative justice? How would a restorative justice advocate respond to a conservative proposal for more prisons? Restorative justice is defined as “using humanistic, no punitive strategies to right wrongs and restore social harmony” (Siegel, 2008, p. 189). Instead of imposing harsh penalties on offenders like long prison sentences or even the death penalty, restorative justice calls for a more rehabilitative approach, such as reconciliation and offender assistance. Even though restorative justice has many supporters, it also boasts numerous opponents as well. In response to a proposal for restorative justice, conservatives largely contest the idea in favor of a more “get-tough” on …show more content…
While many conservatives oppose the rehabilitative measures restorative justice offers offenders and demand more prisons and penalties, advocates for restorative justice counter this demand with research. Restorative justice advocates call for restitution rather than retribution. According to promoters for restorative justice, imposing harsh penalties on offenders and lengthening prison sentences is futile. “Critical theorists argue that the ‘old methods’ of punishment are a failure and that upwards of two-thirds of all prison inmates recidivate soon after their release” (Siegel, 2008, p. 188). While conservatives want to build more prisons and lock away more offenders for longer terms, supporters of restorative justice believe that a more rehabilitative approach is beneficial for not only the offender, but also the community. “The offender is asked to recognize that he or she caused injury to personal and social relations along with a determination and acceptance of responsibility. Only then can the offender be restored as a productive member of society” (Siegel, 2008, p. 190). Placing an offender in prison for any amount of time is shown to be harmful to the offender, their victim, and society. “Rather than reduce recidivism, harsher punishments may increase the likelihood of reoffending” (Siegel, 2008, p. 86). A conservative asking for more prisons would likely be met with a barrage of evidence explaining why restorative justice will and