Restorative or Retributive Justice? Why Not Both?




Pulpan, Clint

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The criminal justice system should incorporate restorative justice into the modern system of retributive justice. The current retributive model of the criminal justice system is failing. There is a high level of offender recidivism upon release from prison or supervision, the costs of operations of prisons are astronomical, and many times, victims have no sense of involvement or satisfaction. Adopting a model of restorative justice, along with retributive, is a solution. Research shows there is a lower level of recidivism, higher level of victim satisfaction, and offenders will not be incarcerated as often. First, prison is a revolving door. Once a prisoner has been released, there is a high probability that he/she will reoffend and be resentenced to prison. Second, restorative justice involves all stakeholders, including the offender, which provides a higher level of satisfaction. Currently, the victim may not be aware of the outcome of a prosecution, or even if one occurred. Third, the costs of operating a prison are skyrocketing. Research shows that by utilizing a restorative justice model, prison sentencing will decrease. In conclusion, leaders in the criminal justice field need to be open-minded and willing to rethink the efficiency of the current retributive system being the only option. Criminal justice leaders need to be thinking outside of the box and open to the idea of incorporating restorative justice to help solve some of the problems.



Restorative Justice, Restorative Justice