The Role of (Self-)Forgiveness in Restorative Justice: Linking Restorative Justice to Desistance
European Journal of Criminology (2020)
44 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2020
Date Written: January 2, 2020
The role of forgiveness in restorative justice (RJ) remains peripheral because interpersonal forgiveness has been considered a ‘gift’ that should not be forced on victims in RJ. In this article, we aim to advance the role of forgiveness in RJ. However, we do not focus on interpersonal forgiveness. We instead focus on another dimension of forgiveness: self-forgiveness for offenders. Because self-forgiveness is linked with both RJ and desistance, self-forgiveness has the potential to function as a catalyst to connect RJ with desistance. Drawing on their relationship, we offer a process-based model of how offenders may or may not desist through RJ. We conclude by offering implications for research on RJ.
Keywords: Restorative justice, forgiveness, self-forgiveness, desistance
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