Restorative Justice vs. the Criminal Justice System

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Introduction Restorative justice is a humanistic way of addressing the gap that exists between constructive resolution of crime and the institutional systems devised by societies to address crime and manage criminals. The tack that restorative justice takes is to ameliorate the impact of crime on victims and other individuals, and to establish a responsive model of crime prevention and response to criminal incidents. Conventional criminal justice relies on the threat of punishment in order to deter crime (Van Ness, et al., 2006). Punishment, in this usage, refers to probation, imprisonment, or other sanctions that are designed to be either "incapacitative or reintegrative" ("RJ City Case Study," 2009, p. 9). The rationale for developing and establishing systems of restorative justice is based on the idea that imprisonment is counterproductive for many prisoners and has far-reaching and destructive impact on the families particularly children and spouses of those who are imprisoned (Van Ness, et al., 2006). The search for adjunct systems of crime prevention and criminal justice is prompted by several factors. As the criminal justice system currently functions, the rate of failure, as evidence by chronic recidivism, is very high (Van Ness, et al., 2006). Moreover, the number of people incarcerated is growing faster than society's capacity to house and contain prisoners. The cost of correctional institutions is very high and these costs compete with the array of basic
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