Though restorative justice has shown promise in addressing a variety of justice issues, it is not without opponents. Indeed, your community probably includes those who would object to a restorative justice system simply because they don’t understand it or because they believe it is “soft on crime.”
Continuing from Week 2, the commissioner knows that there will be multiple objections to implementing a restorative justice system in the current criminal justice structure.
Thus, you should thoroughly research the topic as it is perceived in your community. This research might include a search of the local newspaper, phone calls to justice officials and community leaders, or polling average citizens. Your overall objective, though, is to thoroughly assess the level of support in your community for a restorative justice system and to document the possible reasons why a restorative justice system might be perceived as unpopular or unworkable.
After reviewing the main objections that people face and discussing your own, the commissioner asks you to help prepare a brief for his colleagues. Compile a 5- to 6-page report in a Microsoft Word document. Your report should include the following:
- A brief explanation of the potential objections to a restorative justice system.
- In preparation for making an argument to the Strategic Planning Committee in favor of a restorative approach, provide background on restorative justice efforts, including its key concepts and core tenets.
- In furthering your argument, describe with examples the benefits of restorative justice to the victim, offender, and community as a whole.
- Assignment: Analyze what hurdles or obstacles your community might face in developing and implementing a restorative justice system. Be sure to include specific details (such as crime statistics or opinion polling data) as well as contact with representatives from two different community or justice organizations.
- Compare the assets your community can utilize in building a restorative justice program.
- Analyze all major objections, with compelling retorts for the commissioner to study and use as a guide when he presents the report at the Strategic Planning Meeting.
- Explain any internal weakness in addition to the objections analyzed above, and provide a plan that will address these weaknesses.
Note: See the following resource to read about Kay Pranis’ “Step 2: Face Your Challenges and Obstacles.” This will guide you on issues to address and think over the objections she brings up and basic issues that are found in most organizations, i.e., money, time, manpower, and so on.
Note: See the following resource to read about the implementation issues faced when developing a restorative justice program, including objections and challenges.
Support your responses with examples.
Cite any sources in APA format.