Essay Restorative Justice: A New Paradigm or a Complementary Model

3024 WordsOct 11, 201313 Pages
To what extent has the theory of restorative justice been integrated into Youth Justice practice in England and Wales? Has this gone far enough? The perception by many involved in the justice system in general, and youth justice in particular, is that the present model of punitive retributive justice, often involving incarceration does not work. Indeed, it may be compounding an already huge social problem. This realisation has lead many to look for alternative systems. At present there is a considerable momentum building that advocates the use of a restorative justice model. Marshall has defined restorative justice as a process whereby parties with a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of…show more content…
Re-integration not segregation might be said to be the moral centre of restorative justice. Daly and others see it, as at least in part, a feminist issue, with the role of the state being a dominating masculine presence, which is in essence aggressive to both victim and offender, and a change in this dynamic must occur to allow inclusiveness (Daly,2008). To this end conventional youth justice practice has been significantly challenged. Where restorative practices have been introduced there has been a considerable departure from the long established roles within the system. The interactive dynamic between young person and practitioner is fundamentally different in this process. Consequently, there needs to be considerable training provided for practitioners to be effective in this new approach. The centrality of the victim –offender interaction requires skilful facilitation. The professionals may have difficulty in letting go of their need to control and appear to ‘know best’ what the solutions are. It is important to recognise that a facilitator allows others to reach conclusions and action plans. To be restorative is to adjust ones sense of purpose over identity as a professional, and over belief systems, not just intellectually, but in how you act in relation to others and this can only be learned from experience. Establishing the centrality of the restorative approach in youth justice can certainly be seen as a

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