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Repairing the rupture : restorative justice and the rehabilitation of offenders
journal contributionposted on 2009-05-01, 00:00 authored by Tony Ward, R Langlands
Restorative justice is a social justice movement that aims to deal with consequences of crime through repairing and restoring relationships of three key stakeholders: victims, offenders, and communities. Unfortunately, it is often unclear where offender rehabilitation fits within the constructs of repair and reintegration that drive this justice paradigm. An analysis of the relationship between restorative justice theory and offender rehabilitation principles reveals tensions between the two normative frameworks and a lack of appreciation that correctional treatment programs have a legitimate role alongside restorative practices. First, we outline the basic tenets of the Risk–Need–Responsivity Model and the Good Lives Model in order to provide a brief overview of two recent models of offender rehabilitation. We then consider the claims made by restorative justice proponents about correctional rehabilitation programs and their role in the criminal justice system. We conclude that restorative justice and rehabilitation models are distinct, although overlapping, normative frameworks and have different domains of application in the criminal justice system, and that it is a mistake to attempt to blend them in any robust sense.