Restorative justice has become an increasingly important element in reform and change to criminal justice systems throughout the western world, and there are many reasons for satisfaction with the progress that has been made --from the point of view of victims, offenders, the level and incidence of reoffending, and in terms of public opinion. At the same time there has been cause for concern, not least to do with the confusion on aims that has accompanied the rapid spread of restorative justice practices, an over-estimate of its possibilities, a blurring of concepts and a lack of attention to legal rights and processes. This book, based on papers presented at the 5th international conference held at Leuven, Belgium in 2002, aims to provide an overview of recent experience of restorative justice in the light of these concerns. The central theme is the positioning, or repositioning, of restorative justice in contexts where it can offer hope to communities both fearful of crime and looking for more socially constructive responses to crime. At the same time restorative justice practitioners seek definition in relation to the kinds of crime it is appropriate to apply restorative justice to, how it relates to different forms of punishment, to rehabilitation, and how it fits in with criminal justice systems and the law of different countries --how to reconcile the informal, participatory philosophy of restorative justice with formal legal processes and the need for legal safeguards.
Contents Part 1 Restorative Just ice and the mainstream responses to crime 1 Punishment: what does it mean and can it be restorative?, Martin Wright 2 Restorative Justice: a discussion on punishment, Jolien Willemsens Part 2 Assessment and restorative justice 3 A Survey of Assessment Research on Mediation and restorative justice, Paul McCold 4 Evaluating the practice of restorative justice, Nathan Harris Part 3 Restorative practices in non-judicial settings 5 Researching prospects for restorative practice in schools: the life at school survey 1996-1999, Valerie Braithwaite, Eliza Ahmed, Brenda Morrisson, Monika Reinhart 6 Community Mediation, Criminal Justice and Restorative Justice, John Blad 7 Restorative Justice in Prison?, Ottmar Hagemann Part 4 Restorative Justice in different countries 8 Positioning mediation in the criminal justice system: the Italian legal framework of the 'justice of Peace'', Grazia Manozzi 9 The implementation and development of restorative justice for juveniles in Flanders, Frans Spiesschaert, Catherine van Dijk, Inge Vanfraechem, Sigrid van Grunderbeeck, Mia Claes 10 Implementing Family Group Conferencing in a legalistic system. The example of Belgium, Inge Vanfraechem 11 Anthropological reflections on restoring justice in Norway, Ida Hyddle 12 Alternative conflict resolution and Restorative justice, Anne Lemonne 13 Possibilities for restorative justice in Serbia, Vesna Nikoli-Ristanovi Part 5 Restorative justice and its constituents 14 Restorative Justice for adult offenders: the New Zealand experience, Allison Morris 15 The boldest initiative for Victims? Reviewing the limits and potential of restorative justice for victims of crime, Guy Masters 16 Differences in how girls and boys respond to family group conference. Preliminary research results, Gabrielle Maxwell 17 Do juvenile offenders perceive community service as restorative?, Isabelle Ravier 18 Community Perceptions of children accused of crimes and the practice of restorative justice in South Africa: preparing the South African community for implementing the new child justice system, Buyi Mbambo and Ann Skelton Index