Critical Issues in Restorative Justice

The term anomie actually connotes the situation of being in an unrest or a chaotic state that actually makes it possible for individuals to behave in a less-fixed display. This could be related to one’s being restless. In terms of criminal justice application, the said term has been adapted by the system so as to be able to present a more clear idea on the individual’s willingness to stay or to commit acts outside the boundaries of the given laws. In this regard, young ones being restless in becoming able to do something that is conscientiously aggressive on their views, could be noted to undergo the anomie behavioral disorder.

One’s wanting to be in great effect to others that is most likely devoted on the negative side of the social factor that is contributed by juvenile delinquency itself. This factor of behavioral disturbance among young ones could be in line with the past that they have been involved with once. An event in life that may have affected their view in life may cause them to trod in the way that they are behaving towards the situations presented to them by life. For one reason, past abused situations could affect the life of a youngster at present.

The abusive acts and their effects on the victim do not end on the actual act of abusing alone. The results of the said incidents account for further impact on the personality of the victim primarily pertaining on his or her social interaction with the community that he lives with. Most likely, isolation and the feeling of lesser self-worth eventually develop. It could not be denied that these results are hardly expected by the victims before they were involved with the abuse that they were faced with.

Certainly, it is through the memories of the abuse that the pain tends to remain in complete control of the victim’s major dealings with the society. At some point, the said victims tend to become socially avoiding, as they actually fear that the same thing might happen to them again in the hands of other people that they may or may not know. The trust that they used to have on other people before they were victimized eventually fades making it harder for them to recover on the past that they have experienced.

It could be noted too through psychological studies that one cause of the ways by which people are moved to follow a certain path that leads them to abusing others actually involve depression and in depth disregard of one’s self. Most of the time, when depression and stress takes over the mental system of a particular person, the deciding power of the person begins to weaken hence making it possible for him to take massive steps of destructive acts that usually lead to them abusing other people. Yes, frustrations and unfulfilled missions or aims bring much depression on human individuals.

When this depression is treated in the wrong manner, the situation becomes harder to control. Psychologists particularly note this as one of the failures of the nervous system to assist one in righteously deciding for what is supposed to be acceptably right to do when hard-to-deal with circumstances arise. The said failure gradually affects to one loosing his control over his actions. Add to the fact that there are those who take addictive substances that are directly affecting their decision-making capabilities thus making it harder for them to judge of whether what they are doing are right or not.

As mentioned earlier, violence and abuse are two related terms that describe the destructive situation that most people who are less able to protect themselves experience on the hands of the oppressive sector of the human population. Hence, through the study that has been presented above, it could be noted that the results of the said incidents may be either positive or negative on the part of the individual that has been victimized by the said situation.

The result becomes positive when the victims primarily learns how to defend himself the next time that the same situation occurs or in some way he or she has already learned to protect themselves from actually being involved in destructive situations based on the experience that they once had. On the contrary, the results may become negative if the victim begins to view the situation as an incident that could bring her or him to a fearful state against the systems of the human society. The state of isolation becomes and self-rejection is then added to the negative results of the said incidents. These effects could be viewed as follows:

A Diagram on How Experiences Impact the Personality Development of an Individual (b)Differential Association Theory From this particular idea of social involvement in the system, most of the individuals committing unlawful acts against the principles provided through the law are noted for the type of association that they are involved with. In this regard, to explain the theory further, the following nine points are considered to be the particular focus of the said theory in explaining the possibilities of young individuals being able to commit delinquencies against the law based upon their social dealings:

1. Criminal behavior is learned. 2. Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication. 3. The principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups. 4. When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes very complicated, sometimes simple and the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. 5. The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable. 6.

A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law. 7. Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. 8. The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning. 9. While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those needs and values, since non-criminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values.

From these points, it could be observed that juvenile delinquency in this view could be committed in terms of being particularly affected or thus influenced by the ways of living by the people living around the person being observed for juvenile delinquency possibilities. (c)Merton’s Strain Theory Merton’s theory on the other hand insists that the pressures offered in the society constraints a person’s ability in becoming rightful in his ways, specifically in following the law. Attaining their goals have naturally lead young people to doing several acts of unlawfulness.

From this, the development of juvenile delinquencies increases. Conclusion It is then rightful to say that the purpose of the penal system is, not to rehabilitate, but to keep criminals away from the rest of society. That’s the core of the problem—the mind-set of the prison system toward these men. The prison system is unable to change the offenders’ hearts. Most of these people are going to repeat their crimes when they get out. America,” says Newsweek magazine. “Guns, including paramilitary assault weapons, seem to be everywhere—even in the hands of children.

” Murders hit a new record last year. An estimated 23,200 people were killed, 60 percent of them by use of firearms. “During every 100 hours on our streets we lose three times more young men than were killed in 100 hours of ground war in the Persian Gulf,” laments Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan. This is so despite the fact that the United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate at 426 inmates per 100,000 population. Murder is now the leading cause of death for black males between the ages of 15 and 24. Why has crime escalated so?

According to experts, “crime rates rise when social controls—the family, the church, the neighborhood, and all the invisible bonds of a coherent community—break down,” states Newsweek. This is the reason why there is a need for a new alternative way of reforming crime offenders and that is through the use of restorative justice programs.

References:

Howard Zehr. (2002). The Little Book of Restorative Justice (Little Books of Justice &  Peacebuilding Series). Good Books Publishing Company. Howard Zehr. 2004). Critical Issues in Restorative Justice. Criminal Justice Press.

Dennis Sullivan. (2001). Restorative Justice: Healing the Foundations of Our Everyday Lives. Good Books Publishing Company. Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz. (2005). The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools: Teaching Responsibility; Creating Caring Climates (The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding … Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding) Daniel W. Van Ness. (2006). Restoring Justice: An Introduction to Restorative Justice. Lexisnexis/Anderson. Anthony E. Bottoms. (2005). Restorative Justice And Criminal Justice: Competing Or     Reconcilable Paradigms?

(Studies in Penal Theory & Penal Ethics). Hart Publishing (UK); New Ed edition. Allan Macrae. (2004). The Little Book of Family Group Conferences: New Zealand Style     (Little Books of Justice & Peacebuilding Series). Good Books Publishing Company. Beitchman, J. H. , et al. , “A Review of the Long- Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse,” Child Abuse and Neglect, 16 (1992):101–118. Cathy Spatz, “Child Abuse, Neglect, and Adult Behavior: Research Design and Findings on Criminality, Violence, and Child Abuse,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 59 (1989):355–67.