Restorative Justice From Prosecutors' Perspective
33 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2020 Last revised: 12 Oct 2020
Date Written: May 11, 2020
Restorative justice processes have been promoted as an alternative to criminal adjudication for many years outside the United States and, in recent years, in the United States as well. In the United States, restorative justice processes are used in some jurisdictions in cases involving juvenile offenders or low-level, nonviolent offenses by adults, but they have rarely been used in cases of adult felony offenders charged with serious violent crimes. Whether restorative justice processes will be used more broadly depends largely on whether prosecutors become receptive to their use. A handful of newly elected “progressive prosecutors” have expressed interest in applying restorative justice processes in these and other kinds of felony cases involving adult defendants. But conventional prosecutors generally remain uninterested in or hostile to restorative justice, even though most accept problem-solving courts and other alternatives to prosecution and incarceration. This Article explores why mainstream U.S. prosecutors are disposed against restorative justice and suggest how their concerns might best be addressed by restorative justice proponents.
Keywords: restorative justice, progressive prosecutors, civil law, criminal law, prosecution
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