Restorative Justice Cannot Be A Real Alternative?

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CRM 4302 A: Final Exam Question 1. Both Thomas Mathiesen and Stanley Cohen argue that alternative criminal justice responses that were presented after the 1970s were not real alternatives (Tabibi, 2015a). The ‘alternatives’ which are being questioned are community justice alternatives generally, and Restorative Justice specifically. The argument here is that Restorative Justice cannot be a real alternative because it is finished and is based on the premises of the old system (Mathiesen, 1974). Moreover, Restorative Justice is not an alternative because it has not solved the issues surrounding the penal system (Tabibi, 2015a). Cohen (1985) supports this sentiment, and suggests that community based punishment alternatives have actually led to …show more content…
Transformative Justice draws on the power that is released from the harm that is caused by a crime in order to allow the individuals that are most affected to find creative, healing solutions (Morris, 2000). Offenders, victims, their families, and communities are all involved in the Transformative Justice process. The idea underpinning Transformative Justice is that by involving all these groups in the process, the way forward can be more positive and happy for all those involved (Morris, 2000). Transformative Justice recognizes harms that are caused to all victims, and also suggests that at one point or another everyone is both an offender and a victim (Morris, 2000). In what is to follow, the principles of Transformative Justice will be outlined in regards to the offender, victims and the …show more content…
The current criminal justice system is expensive to maintain. In North America the cost to house one prisoner is upwards of eighty to two hundred dollars a day (Morris, 2000). The bulk of this is devoted to paying guards and security (Morris, 2000). In contrast with this, community oriented programming as halfway houses cost less than the prison alternative. Community programming alternatives cost five to twenty five dollars a day, although more expensive than community programs, halfway houses still remain cheaper than prison (Morris, 2000). Tabibi (2015c) states that approximately ninety percent of those housed in prison are non-violent offenders. The treatment of offenders in the current system is understood to be unjust. By this, Morris (2000) explains that there is consistently an overrepresentation of indigenous and black people in the penal system. Corporate crimes are largely omitted, while street crimes are emphasized (Morris, 2000). This disproportionately targets marginalized populations (homeless, drug addicted and the poor) (Tabibi, 2015c). The current system is immoral in that the caging of people is highly depersonalized and troubling (Tabibi, 2015c). This is considered to be a barbaric practice of the past, however it is still frequently used in North America (Morris, 2000). Another moral

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