CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, July 19, 2019

Bolitho on Restorative Justice and Disabilities

Jane Bolitho (University of New South Wales (UNSW) - School of Social Science and Policy) has posted Complex Cases of Restorative Justice after Serious Crime: Creative and Enabling Spaces for Those with Disability on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This chapter explores the potential of restorative justice to meet the needs of participants in complex cases following crime. What is meant by ‘complex’? The Oxford dictionary defines ‘complex’ as ‘consisting of many different and connected parts’ and ‘not easy to analyse or understand; complicated or intricate’ (English Oxford Living Dictionary, accessed 2017). Most simply, what makes something ‘complex’ is the increased number of components, the nature of those components and the subsequently multifarious network that exists between components. In one sense, all crime is ‘complex’ because each event involves different individuals, different harms, different circumstances and impact; each event is completely idiosyncratic. In the restorative justice literature ‘complex’ is generally understood to mean cases where in addition to a crime having occurred, there are particular risks in addressing the harm (e.g. see Gavrielides, 2012).
This may be because there is little practice in that area, and/or less documented around what works. Usually though, complexity is seen to relate to situations where the differentials in power (inherent in some crimes, and in some cases) make the potential for further harm more likely. This chapter focuses on restorative justice and disability, which is an area where little is known and the potential for further harm does exist because of the particular power dynamics in the restorative space.

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