Criminal Justice Vs Restorative Justice

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It comes as no surprise to me that restorative justice has these weaknesses as it is not a panacea. However, to address these weaknesses and move toward a better criminal justice system, I think that restorative justice must be used in conjunction with retributive justice. What has been examined previously indicates that both restorative and retributive justice have strengths and weaknesses in delivering justice. An ideal solution for a more robust criminal justice system would include aspects of both these justice systems. This includes a system that is capable of bridging cultural values into modern ideas about justice and its delivery. Such a vision, one of synergy between restorative and retributive justice, would be the ‘best’ of both …show more content…
First, it is important to understand that restorative justice has culturally and context specific aims and principles; practices that may appear unjust from a retributive perspective that supports neutral distribution of justice (Wardak, 2011). Proponents of restorative justice would argue that these factors are a necessary facet of processes that are specifically designed to restore social harmony and “thus cannot be isolated from their social context” (Luccaro, 2016, p. 25). Such characteristics place restorative justice in sharp opposition to retributive justice systems which are structured around rigid rules with outcomes based on conformity and …show more content…
This creates tension and estrangement, threatening social harmony and cohesions. Restorative justice, by contrast, place strong emphasis on reconciliation and making peace among disputants (Roberts, 2004). Thus, unlike the retributive system, which creates losers and winners, in restorative justice systems, there are community-led decisions that promote peace and dignity among the victims, offenders, and the community. Thus, dispute resolution aims not only to punish and compensate, but also to reconcile the parties and reintegrate the offender into society (Lab, 2015).

Moreover, there are paradigmatic differences between restorative and retributive justice in terms of core legal values, the conceptualization of crime and notions of responsibility (Forsyth, 2007). For example, as Adoko and Levine (2009) state:
People don’t see two legal codes at all. The ‘community’ legal framework is not seen as law at all, but as a way of life, how people live —State Law on the other hand is something imposed and foreign. ... It is remote, in a foreign language and has little to do with most people’s lives . . . It isn’t about different laws—it’s about a different world view (Adoko & Levine, 2009, p.