The Concept of Restorative Justice

2164 WordsJan 29, 20189 Pages
The criminal justice system views any crime as a crime committed against the state and places much emphasis on retribution and paying back to the community, through time, fines or community work. Historically punishment has been a very public affair, which was once a key aspect of the punishment process, through the use of the stocks, dunking chair, pillory, and hangman’s noose, although in today’s society punishment has become a lot more private (Newburn, 2007). However it has been argued that although the debt against the state has been paid, the victim of the crime has been left with no legal input to seek adequate retribution from the offender, leaving the victim perhaps feeling unsatisfied with the criminal justice process. Furthermore can formal social control institutions such as the criminal justice system and the government provide the best aspect of producing conformity and law abiding behaviour? Hirschi’s (1969) social control theory is concerned with what effect formal institutions have on conformity in individuals and in particular, how law abiding behaviour is produced due to these institutions (Walklate, 2005). However Wilson (2007) argues that formal methods of social control such as the criminal justice system are merely there to control and segregate delinquents and offenders who have not had adequate socialisation, which is where social mores are learnt and when conformity is produced, and that an alternative form of social control such as restorative
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