Essay Title: 

Youth and Corrections

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in criminology, law


Correctional Policy Changes Based on the Restorative Justice Principle

Correctional Policy Changes Based on the Restorative Justice Principle

With an ever increasing rate of incarceration , which now tops the rest of the world , the United States penal system and correctional policies have aroused concerns from experts and policy makers . Doubts surround the goals of the prevailing correctional policies and practices According to Umbreit (1998 , The basic purpose of sentencing is unclear . Is it meant to rehabilitate and change offender behavior ? Are criminal sentences meant to deter [banner_entry_middle]

others from committing crimes ? Or , is the purpose of sentencing to incapacitate , or remove , the criminal from society ‘ An increasing rate of recidivism has also necessitated that ever greater funds go for the erection of correctional facilities than educational or other productive facilities as the formal justice system continues to criminalize and label young people at an early age increasing the likelihood of early , repeated and lengthy incarceration (Lilles , 2001

Faced with such other vexatious issues as the disproportionate incarceration rate of African Americans and the apparent ineffectiveness of retributive justice and incarceration as crime fighting tools justice and correctional policy makers in the US and around the world are beginning to give serious thought to the formulation of alternative and more purposeful correction policies . This has led to the heightened interest in restorative justice principles and practice

Restorative justice

According to Cormier (2002

Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on repairing the harm caused by crime while holding the offender responsible for his or her actions , by providing an opportunity for the parties directly affected by a crime – victim (s , offender and community – to identify and address their needs in the aftermath of a crime , and seek a resolution that affords healing , reparation and reintegration , and prevents future harm

This approach to correction and justice dispensation derives from indigenous justice practices and philosophies (Parker 2001 ) amongst the indigenous peoples of North America and other parts of the world . The Canadian Criminal Code (1996 ) in enunciating the objectives of sentencing replicated these principles “to provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community ” and “to promote a sense of responsibility in offenders , and acknowledgement of the harm done to victims and to the community ” [Criminal Code , Canada ss . 718 e ) and f )] (as cited by Cormier , 2002

Where the retributive principles saw the offender as a sinner who should be severely punished , restorative justice provided a rounded justice vehicle where the offender , the victim and the community became part of the continuum . It de-emphasises revenge and incarceration as ingredients of correction emphasising such restorative justice principles as conferencing and circles (Parker , 2004

According to Lilles (2001

The circle is premised on three principles that are also part of the culture of Yukon ‘s aboriginal people . Firstly , a criminal offence represents a breach of the relationship between the offender and the victim as well as the offender and the community . Secondly , the stability of… [banner_entry_footer]


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