After news spreads of Emma’s carjacking, the surrounding community is shaken. Parents are fearful to send their children to the school and, in some cases, have made alternate arrangements. The school principal takes money originally earmarked for playground improvements and purchases a high-tech security system to monitor the parking lot. Unfortunately, there is not enough money remaining to repair some of the gardens surrounding the parking lot, which were damaged when Jordan and Dante ran over them as they sped away in the car.
Dante finally appears before a judge, with his mother by his side, and pleads guilty. He expresses regret and remorse for the incident, and his mother vows to keep a closer eye on him. Dante has one prior conviction for second-degree assault after he attacked the owner of a convenience store last year. He is also frequently absent from school and, when he does attend, regularly gets into physical fights with classmates. The judge offers Dante the opportunity to participate in a restorative justice program. Dante accepts.
Is a restorative approach sufficient to deter Dante from committing further crimes, or are traditional punishments necessary? How should Dante provide accountability to the community? This week, you examine the sufficiency of the restorative justice approach to deter criminal behavior. You also examine another tenet of restorative justice: accountability to the community.
Differentiate between general and specific deterrence
Compare the effectiveness of traditional sanctions versus a restorative justice approach for deterring crime
Analyze the effects of crime on families and communities
Analyze the roles of family, friends, and community members in the restorative justice process
Apply restorative justice strategies to provide accountability to the community
Analyze the role of facilitators in face-to-face meetings between offenders and communities
Analyze the desired outcomes and challenges of conducting a face-to-face meeting between offenders and communities
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Discussion: Restorative Justice and Deterrence
The criminal justice system uses punishment to deter people from committing crimes. Punishments may be minor (e.g., paying fines) or more severe (e.g., incarceration). Some believe that punishment is an effective deterrent to criminal behavior, while others believe that punishment, particularly in severe forms, promotes anger and violence. The restorative justice approach may include punishments, such as paying restitution or completing community service, but only for the purposes of meeting the needs of victims. Therefore, questions persist regarding whether a gentler, but more meaningful, restorative approach is as effective for deterring crime as traditional punishments.
In this Discussion, you examine whether a restorative justice approach is more or less effective for deterring crime compared to traditional punishments.
Post a response that addresses the following:
Describe the differences between general and specific deterrence?
Identify a nonviolent crime. Then describe the sanctions used for the crime in your state. Do the existing sanctions adequately deter crime? Why or why not?
Provide an argument about whether a restorative justice approach would be more or less effective to deter the nonviolent crime you selected?