Recent years have seen the development of a growing international literature on restorative justice, community justice and reintegrative alternatives to formal criminal justice processes. This literature is stronger on theory and advocacy than on detailed evaluative studies. It often relies for its practical examples on the presumed historical practices of the indigenous peoples of colonised territories, or on attempts to revive or promote modified versions of these in a modern context, which has led to debates about how far modern communities can provide a viable setting for such initiatives. This book provides a unique study of the practice of traditional reintegrative community justice in a European society: the Parish Hall Enquiry (PHE) in the Channel Island of Jersey. This is an ancient institution, based on an informal hearing and discussion of a reported offence with the alleged offender and other interested parties, carried out by centeniers (honorary police officers elected to one of Jersey's twelve parishes). It is still in regular use as an integral part of a modern criminal justice system, and it usually aims to resolve offences without recourse to formal prosecution in court. Helen Miles and Peter Raynor's research, arising from direct observation, contributes to the literature on 'what works' in resolving conflicts and influencing offenders, and their detailed case studies of how problems are addressed gives a 'hands on' flavour of the process. The authors also document the aspects of community life in Jersey that facilitate or hinder the continuation of the PHEs, drawing out the implications of these findings for wider debates about the necessary and sufficient social conditions for reintegrative justice to succeed.
’This account of a remarkable historical survival manages to be both scholarly and readable. Through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, and with some vivid case studies, the authors show how an ancient system of justice can be made relevant to current debates. Anyone interested in the practice as well as the theory of community justice will find the book fascinating.’ David Smith, Lancaster University, UK 'Helen Miles is a critical and reflective ’insider’, Peter Raynor an appreciative and sympathetic outsider, and this authorial team bring complementary qualities that are ideal for a study like this. The study’s methods of exact and detailed observations have already begun to refresh probation research into the mechanisms by which ’effective practice’ is accomplished. It must also be said that the book is very well written. It is lucid and succinct, well organised with useful summaries, and with many case studies and direct quotations from the PHEs that make it vivid and engaging.' Criminology & Criminal Justice 'Miles and Raynor’s book Reintegrative Justice in Practice: The Informal Management of Crime in an Island Community is a well-written, informative and engaging overview of an ancient justice tradition operating in the channel island of Jersey.' Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books