Restorative Justice? A Critical Analysis
In: B Goldson & J Muncie (eds) Youth, Crime and Justice (2nd edn). London: Sage. pp. 137-156. 2015
26 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015 Last revised: 17 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2015
This chapter provides a critical analysis of the restorative justice movement in the field of youth justice. Examples of the application of restorative justice in Australia, England and Wales are considered. Then, the contemporary popularity of this phenomena is critically analysed through an emphasis on dominant notions of the 'victim-offender binary', the 'inclusive community', the 'imputation of responsibility' and 'alternative justice'. The effectiveness and impact of restorative justice is also critically examined. The author's conclude that in its current manifestation within the contemporary youth justice sphere, there is little, if anything, inherent to restorative justice that prevents it from co-existing with, being accommodated by and, ultimately lending legitimacy to, repressive youth justice systems and youth crime control strategies. Whilst profoundly sceptical of the restorative justice 'that is', they remain enthusiastic about the restorative justice that 'might be'; a project they argue that requires a re-imagining of the delivery of justice for children and young people, substantially more than existing variants of restorative justice appear able to provide.
Keywords: Youth Justice, Restorative Justice
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