Restorative Justice Conferencing is a ‘soft option’ with Limited Value in the Criminal Justice System

Restorative Justice Conferencing is an invaluable addition with a great deal of benefits to the criminal justice system in Victoria. As a comparatively ambitious undertaking, restorative justice is implemented as a direct response to key fundamentals identified by victims and society at large. Restorative justice introduces a fresh approach starkly different to traditional justice process such as imprisonment in espousing the need to address victim’s expectations while transforming reprobates (Larsen 2014). Additionally, it also presents an exclusive opportunity for the victim and offender to meet albeit in a controlled environment with the aim of discussing the offence in questions and its accompanying effects on both parties. Cumulative gains resulting from full implementation of restorative justice to the criminal justice system also include its direct impact on recidivism rare.

Read also Innovative Justice Methods to Reduce Recidivism – Victoria

Australia currently grapples with a 46.4% recidivism rate which represents an existential treat to the Department of Correctional Services (Sentencing Advisory Council 2015). At the core of restorative justice is its focus on the “process” rather than outcomes during the implementation phase. Offenders are given an opportunity to acknowledge wrongdoing and, therefore, less likely to reoffend on account of the complete shift in perspective occasioned by Restorative Justice Conferencing. Druz (2016) opines that restorative justice processes create a sense of satisfaction in contending parties since mediation programs present a degree of fairness. This particularly allows victims to develop suitable coping strategies and ultimately end up being contented while avoiding feelings of contempt for the offenders in question. 

Read also Use of Restorative Justice Processes for Domestic and Family Violence

Restorative Justice Conferencing makes it possible for both parties to also transform their perspective the problems being addressed before regarding it as a foundation for the development and implementation of productive solutions in the future. Moreover, victims are empowered through the opportunity to come face to face with offenders, restoring their self of confidence and safety.  Restorative justice is now a common feature in many domestic and family violence; addressing deficiencies within the Victorian criminal justice system while fostering empathy.

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