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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Thom Brooks

Brooks, Thom (2017). Punitive Restoration and Restorative Justice. Criminal Justice Ethics 36(2): 122-140.

Author(s) from Durham


Criminal justice policy faces the twin challenges of improving our crime reduction efforts while increasing public confidence. These challenges are exacerbated by the fact that at least some measures popular with the public are counterproductive to greater crime reduction. How to achieve greater crime reduction without sacrificing public confidence? While restorative justice approaches offer a promising alternative to traditional sentencing with the potential to achieve these goals, they suffer from several serious obstacles, not least their relatively limited applicability, flexibility, and public support. Punitive restoration is a new and distinctive idea about restorative justice modeled on an important principle of stakeholding, which states that those who have a stake in penal outcomes should have a say about them. Punitive restoration is restorative insofar as it aims to achieve the restoration of rights infringed or threatened by criminal offences. Punitive restoration is punitive insofar as the available options for this agreement are more punitive than found in most restorative justice approaches, such as the option of some form of hard treatment. Punitive restoration sheds new light on how we may meet the twin challenges of improving our efforts to reduce reoffending without sacrificing public confidence, demonstrating how restorative practices can be embedded deeper within the criminal justice system.