Making Sense of Restorative Justice: An Analysis of Canadian Restorative Justice Programs

Title: Making Sense of Restorative Justice: An Analysis of Canadian Restorative Justice Programs
Authors: Fawcett, Emmett
Date: 2021-11-25
Abstract: Restorative Justice (RJ) is an approach to justice which most often centres around creating a shared dialogue between stakeholders in a given offence. It is often contrasted with traditional criminal justice due to its focus on the personal involvement of those who have been directly impacted by the harm. Popular models of RJ include various types of mediation, conferencing, and circles, each with a slightly different approach toward reaching a settlement between stakeholders. Some of the main goals of RJ highlighted in the criminological literature include healing, reparation, and community-building. However, because of its nature as a diverse and contested subject over the past several decades, there are numerous understandings of RJ. Due to this frequent difficulty in defining and understanding RJ, this thesis attempts to provide some grounding on the subject through the document analysis of four Canadian RJ programs. RJ program documentation was analyzed in order to discover how these programs portray their “services” to the public. Results showed that many of the most prominent themes in the programs were also present in the literature. However, a more important facet of the discussion emerged with further analysis. Using a perspective of governmentalist versus communitarian RJ, the programs were compared to discover that the way in which a program presents itself in online documentation surely does not always encapsulate its core nature in terms of judicial, legal, and correctional involvement. Simply put, a verbal commitment to distancing oneself from the ways of the traditional criminal justice system does not necessarily signify a lack of involvement as it would suggest.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -