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NCJ Number: NCJ 187773     Find in a Library
Title: What Future for "Public Safety" and "Restorative Justice" in Community Corrections?- Research in Brief
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): Michael E. Smith
Date Published: 06/2001
Page Count: 8
  Series: NIJ Research in Brief
  Annotation: This paper assesses the relative merits of "public safety" and "restorative justice" paradigms, so as to assess their future in community corrections as strategic objectives for probation and parole.
Abstract: As an objective for community corrections, "public safety" is best conceived as "the condition of a place, at times when people in that place are justified in feeling free of threat to their persons and property." This view of public safety directly challenges offender-focused probation and parole case management, emphasizing instead the need for unofficial, naturally occurring guardians of people and places. Restorative justice rejects the criminal law's focus on culpability and retribution and casts punitive responses to criminal conduct as aggravators of the harm already done. Under this new paradigm, the purpose of justice is to restore the victim and the victim's intimates (who suffer the harm), the community (whose fabric is torn by the crime), and the offender (who will remain part of that community and represents a continuing threat to it if unrestored). The implementation of the public safety and restorative justice paradigms in community corrections is likely to be stronger to the extent that the two paradigms can be merged. They have enough in common to make this possible. Although many community corrections agencies are exploring one or both of these strategic ideas in practice, none has the operational capacity to pursue the ideas effectively. This is in part because their staffs lack many of the necessary skills and have been deployed for years in ways incompatible with public safety purposes or restorative justice practices. 13 notes
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Probation or parole services ; Probation or parole agencies ; Probation ; Community-based corrections (adult)
Contract Number: 97-MUMU-K006
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Sentencing and Corrections, June 2001, No. 11
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