Vasso ARTINOPOULOUProfessor in Criminology, Head of Sociology Department, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences 136 Syngrou Avenue, 17671 Athens, Greece Co Founder and Co Director of the Restorative Justice for All Institute (London, UK) email@example.com
The deadlocks of the traditional criminal justice systems are reflected in the reproduction of the multiple and complex social inequalities, the high rates of reoffending and recidivism, the underrepresentation of the victims’ voices, and the overpopulated prisons. In this paper, I thoroughly analyze the Restorative Justice case through an evidence-based perspective. I examine the deadlocks of the criminal justice systems by employing recent statistics from the Council of Europe (SPACE I and II). After reviewing the state of the art, I present the potential of Restorative Justice in dealing with the crime prevention and corrections, identifying the strengths and weakness of Restorative Justice on theoretical, methodological and policy level. Original research findings from a victim-oriented approach are also presented to address the need of expanding Restorative Justice beyond the field of juvenile delinquency. The paper addresses also the economy of the Restorative Justice comparing to the traditional criminal justice systems and focuses on the social capital as a key issue for assessing the impact of Restorative Justice in the community and social level. I conclude with suggestions for a new model of Restorative Justice that brings together theory, research and practice in the criminal justice policies. The need for inter- and trans- disciplinary approaches and synergies is also stressed in the paper’s conclusions.
Keywords: Restorative Justice, Criminal Justice System, Social Capital, Human Rights, Crime Prevention Policies