| Ideas About Justice
P672 | 1439 | Pepinsky
"Restorative justice" is the name given processes for bringing offenders, victims and surrounding
community members together to focus on harms dome by crimes, and to allow the parties
involved to work out their own arrangements, including some form of restitution for the offender,
to try to make things right for victims. These approaches are called "restorative" because they
aim to weave victims and offenders alike safely back into community life. They are built on
principles for mediating "just" outcomes for victims, offenders and communities, principles
variously derived from indigenous spiritual beliefs and practices (like "family group
conferences" in New Zealand, sentencing circles in Canada, and the Peacemaker Court among
the Navajo), religious traditions (like Mennonites' development of victim offender reconciliation
programs), and secular theories (like criminologist John Braithwaite's notion of "reintegrative
shaming," grounded in analysis of Japanese responses to crime). Some proponents see
restorative justice as the best and brightest alternative to "retributive" criminal justice responses
to crime. Seminar members will explore how "restorative justice" is concealed and implemented
in programs from as close as Bloomington and Indianapolis, and from around the world. The
instructor, Hal Pepinsky, is himself a volunteer mediator in Bloomington's Victim Offender
Readings: Burt Galaway and Joe Hudson, Restorative Justice: International Perspectives
(Monsey, NY, and Amsterdam: Criminal Justice Press, 1996; paperback edition);
and Tichenor Reader for Restorative Justice (spring 1999).
Requirements: Short weekly writing assignments responding to readings, and a 10-15 pp.
paper exploring a restorative justice idea or practice topic of the seminar
member's own choosing.
Class Meeting: One 150-minute seminar each week (T, 5:45-8:15, Sycamore 210)