1st Edition

The Role of Community in Restorative Justice

By Fernanda Rosenblatt Copyright 2015
    258 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Although restorative justice is probably one of the most talked about topics in contemporary criminology, little has been written about how community involvement in restorative justice translates into practice. While advocates have presented the community as an essential pillar of restorative justice, the rationale for why and how this is the case remains underdeveloped and largely unchallenged. This book offers an empirical and theoretical explanation of what ‘community involvement’ means and what work it does in restorative justice.

    Drawing on an empirical case study and the wider sociological literature, The Role of Community in Restorative Justice examines the involvement of the community in one selected practice of restorative justice and also considers the implications of the English and Welsh experience for development of a more coherent framework for operationalizing community involvement in restorative justice practices. It is argued that restorative justice programmes need to start from a more concrete and up-to-date notion of community. While operationalizing community involvement, they need to acknowledge, all at once: the importance of place; the importance of family links, friendship and other social ties; and the importance of similar social traits and identities.

    This book is essential reading for students, researchers and academics in the fields of criminology, criminal justice, sociology, community studies, policy studies, social policy and socio-legal studies. This book will also be valuable reading for a variety of practitioners and policymakers, particularly working with restorative justice and youth justice.

    Introduction  1. The Restorative Justice ‘Spirit'  2. Restorative Justice’s Problematic Appeals to Community, 3. Selecting a Case Study of Community Involvement in Restorative Justice  4. Notes on an Empirical Study  5. Youth Offender Panels: a Play in Three Acts  6. The Role of Community in Youth Offender Panels  7. Towards a Coherent Framework for Operationalizing Community Involvement in Restorative Justice Programmes  Conclusions.


    Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt is an Assistant Professor in Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP), Brazil, where she teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Fernanda completed her DPhil in Criminology at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, in January 2014. In 2005 she was awarded a Master’s degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Fernanda is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the World Society of Victimology. She is also a member of the Asa Branca Research Group of Criminology (UNICAP, Brazil). Her areas of expertise are: Restorative Justice, Community (Justice), Youth Justice and Street Children.

    ‘Focusing on Great Britain, Rosenblatt offers the first empirical results on this subject, making it a must-read for anybody who is interested in the relationship between Restorative Justice and Communities. It should be on the bookshelf of any serious scholar in this area. The future lies in works like this.’ - Elmar G.M. Weitekamp, Ph.D. University of Tübingen, Germany

    ‘In The Role of Community in Restorative Justice, Rosenblatt confronts the mythology of government programs that claim to be "restorative" by exploring the concept of community more closely and examining how it is employed. She provides an excellent assessment and critique of how youth justice panels in the United Kingdom fall far short of meaningful community involvement. Her work will inspire others to scrutinize the implementation of restorative justice initiatives to ensure fidelity to its fundamental premises.’ - Ted Wachtel, President, IIRP Graduate School, USA

    ‘This book represents an important contribution to restorative justice scholarship by providing theoretically-informed and empirically-rich insights into the role of community in restorative practices. Rosenblatt gives us a nuanced and balance appraisal of the restorative pretentions of youth offender panels in theory and in practice, as well as the benefits and challenges of engaging community members in such processes. The book will be of considerable interest and value to all those – academics, policymakers and practitioners, both in the UK and beyond – who are seeking to advance community involvement in dispute resolution and justice systems more generally.’ - Adam Crawford, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Leeds, UK