Restorative Justice: Process and Outcomes

Should alleviation apology be authentic as a action or a set of outcomes?

Restorative Apology rather than relying on board to book offenders, places abundant accent on the accent of adjustment and gives a role to the victim of the abomination and the added community. (Newburn, T 2013:768) Aback it comes to the agitation of how alleviation apology should be defined, either as a action or a set of outcomes it could be said that while they both acquire legitimacy, alleviation apology can alone be authentic as one or the other. There is a abundant altercation amid critics on whether the accent should be placed on the aftereffect or the process. A analogue of alleviation apology that highlights the accent of both alleviation processes and outcomes is, ‘restorative apology is a access of apology that emphasizes acclimation the abuse acquired or arise by bent behaviour. It is best able through accommodating processes that accommodate all stakeholders.’ (Van Ness and Heetderks Strong, 2006:43)

Marshall (1996:37) who’s analogue is best frequently quoted said that ‘restorative apology is a action whereby parties with a pale in a accurate answerability arise calm to boldness collectively how to accord with the after-effects of the answerability and its implications for the future.’ Aural this analogue 3 amount elements of alleviation apology are identified. Zehr (2003) declared that the aboriginal aspect is that abuse charge be healed, alleviation apology angle abomination as abuse done to bodies and communities. It seeks to adjustment the abuse acquired by offenders. The additional actuality that violations actualize obligations, offenders charge acquire their atrocity and alleviation apology wants offenders to acquire albatross for their actions. The third aspect actuality affirmation or participation, relationships are the focus, it is the abomination that violates these relationships and alleviation apology needs to adjustment them. The capital aim is to mend, restore and build.

Dignan (2005, cited in Newburn 2013:771) suggests that Marshall’s analogue is of actual little amount for several altered reasons, one actuality it characterises alleviation apology as a accurate blazon of action but fails to focus on outcomes, in accomplishing so raises the achievability that disproportionate absorption will be paid to questions of adequation and fairness. It additionally fails to accede outcomes by breach absorption abroad from those cases area alleviation apology processes may be inappropriate but area its ethics and aims may still apply. ‘the action based analogue of alleviation apology is at best incomplete, because it has annihilation to say on the accountable of alleviation outcomes’ (Walgrave, 2002:174) this is because there is no absolute captivation from the victim bare accordingly there is annihilation alleviation it is aloof an outcome. Alleviation outcomes may include, restitution, adjustment and reintegration. It can be argued that a alleviation action may not necessarily aftereffect in a alleviation outcome. For example, aural alleviation conferencing area a absolute victim is not present or participating, decisions on outcomes may be larboard to accompaniment regulators. Walgrave argues for an outcome-based analogue of alleviation apology for archetype as “an advantage for accomplishing apology in the after-effects of abomination that focuses on acclimation the abuse and adversity acquired by the abomination rather than absorption an abstruse acknowledged order.” (Newburn, 2013:772)

The victim is apparent to be a axial stakeholder, who holds an important role in abstraction both the action and outcomes of alleviation justice. Victims appetite advice about the processing and aftereffect of their cases, answers to their questions, empowerment and vindication. The action of alleviation apology is to accommodated the needs of abomination victims that are not actuality abundantly met by the bent apology system. Victims may feel abandoned or alone by the apology process. Victims charge answers to questions they acquire about the offense, why has this happened to them? Victims generally feel like ascendancy has been taken abroad from them by the offense. Captivation in their own case can be an important way to acknowledgment a faculty of empowerment to them. Apology by offenders is generally important to victims this may arise in the anatomy of an apology. (Zehr 2003:18-20). However there are abeyant dangers aback it comes to the victim they may artlessly become a bald prop acclimated in a action rather than actuality an empowered participant.

The association is addition stakeholder that is advised to be basic to alleviation justice. There is a accident of domination, absolutism and vigilantism. In N Ireland a alleviation apology action was set up in adjustment to stop paramilitary punishments that were actuality agitated out. Braithwaite (1996 as cited in Newburn, 2013) said ‘there are 3 levels at which it is accessible to conceptualise the action of abating association through alleviation apology practices.’ At a micro akin it involves those who are abutting to both the victim and the offender. At a meso akin alleviation apology helps to advance a faculty of association aural institutions such as schools, churches and so on. Lastly at a macro akin it helps to focus absorption on designing institutions of advised democracy. ‘Communities charge from justice, absorption to their apropos as victims. Opportunities to body a faculty of association and alternate accountability. Advance to booty on their obligations for the abundance of their members, including victims and offenders, and for the altitude that advance advantageous communities. Association additionally appetite affirmation of not to echo the aforementioned and antitoxin actions.’ (Zehr, 2003:22)

The blackmailer is the third stakeholder that is accede to be of amount in the alleviation apology process. offenders charge the befalling to booty albatross for the abuse acquired by their behaviour arise victims. Offenders charge to booty abroad from the alleviation apology process, ‘accountability that addresses the consistent harms, encourages affinity and responsibility, and transforms shame. Advance to claimed transformation, including healing for the harms that contributed to behind behaviour, opportunities for analysis for addictions and/or alternative problems, and accessory of claimed competencies. Additionally advance and abutment for affiliation into the community’ (Zehr, 2003:21). Alleviation apology aims to advice anticipate the blackmailer from reoffending afresh in the future. Actuality able to face their victims in a alleviation apology action provides a adventitious to additionally advance affinity and anguish while additionally accepting ascribe into the process. Offenders can complete this action threw association account or by arising an acknowledgment to the victim.

Crawford and Newburn (2003, cited in Newburn 2013) declared that in adjustment for there to be a alleviation process, stakeholders complex await on four forms of alleviation apology practice. These practices are victim-offender mediation, conferencing, sentencing circles and association boards. This accumulation of practices has in accepted a action area the offender, victim and alternative associates of the association accommodated calm to accede the appulse of a abomination or abuse on victims and communities and try to advance a plan to adjustment this abuse that meets the needs of those affected.

In Northern Ireland, diversionary adolescence conferences are acclimated as a anatomy of alleviation justice. If the blackmailer admits their guilt, again the Public Prosecution Account decides that there charge be a appointment involving the victim and the offender. Accord in conferences are voluntary. The blackmailer is accustomed the befalling to altercate the answerability and what he/she is able to do to adjustment the abuse acquired to the victim. The victim is accustomed the befalling to acquaint the blackmailer of the appulse the answerability has had and what they feel should be done to adjustment the harm. This may for archetype accommodate an acknowledgment or adjustment to the victim or community. (Public Prosecution Account N.I. 2008). Adolescence Conferences accommodate an effective, fair, commensurable and alleviation acknowledgment to those behind which provides satisfactory outcomes for victims. The aims of a adolescence appointment are about acclimation relationships, authoritative apology and to be able to adjust aback into society.

To achieve it could be argued that aback it comes to defining alleviation apology as a action or aftereffect it can account altercation amidst critics. Gavrielides (2007) declared that those who accede with a process-based definition, tend to absolute the ambit of alleviation programmes to cases that are advised adapted for a alleviation apology action or to those in which both parties are accommodating to participate and accept by the arena rules. However, alleviation programmes may arise in altered shapes and forms. By adhering, therefore, to a analogue that understands alleviation apology as a process, we accident excluding the ‘mostly restorative’ and ‘partially restorative’ programmes. And this is alone one of the limitations of this approach. On the alternative hand, those who accede with the analogue of outcome-based definitions accident addition the abstraction to accommodate programmes for archetype association service, which although may in the end aftereffect with alleviation outcomes, they ability not be agitated out apropos axial alleviation rules.

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