Can restorative justice be the right response to drug offences?

The inefficiency of the traditional forms of justice based on punishment and coercion along with the change of ideologies and opinion formation in the recent years, led to the conception of the term ‘restorative justice’. Restorative justice is now considered in many countries as a successful alternative within the criminal justice system. Briefly, restorative justice is the approach according to which the offender and the victim are engaged in a dialogical procedure, whose aim is the creation of an agreement that can be considered as a fair compensation – moral and practical – for the victim and the result of the repentance of the offender. Some of the forms that restorative justice can take are healing and peace circles and family group conferencing.

Restorative justice practices have been mostly succeeded in the cases of minor crimes, such as robbery and theft and apparently have proved unsuccessful when it comes to drug offences, sexual assault and domestic violence. Nevertheless, one form that restorative justice could take in the case of drug offences are the drug treatment courts. These courts are not thought to constitute the most representative forms of the restorative justice system, but seem to be more humane and respectful for the offenders compared to the traditional courts and methods of punishment.

You can read the full article here.

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