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The transformative power of restorative justice

The transformative power of restorative justice

Update: 2020-06-1813
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The criminal justice system asks three questions: What law was broken? Who broke it? And what should the punishment be? Upon that edifice — and channeled through old bigotries and fears — we have built the largest system of human incarceration on earth. America accounts for 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its imprisoned population. 


Restorative justice asks different questions: Who was harmed? What do they need? And whose obligation is it to meet those needs? It is a radically different model, with profoundly different results both for victims and perpetrators. Studies show restorative justice programs leave survivors more satisfied, cut recidivism rates, and cost less. If we’re thinking about rebuilding the criminal justice program, restorative justice should be central to that conversation. 


sujatha baliga is the director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice. She won a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2019. She’s a survivor of abuse herself. Her work points toward a new paradigm for criminal justice: one focused on repairing breaches, not exacting retribution. And it carries lessons for how our politics might function, how our society could heal some of its oldest wounds, and how we live our own precious lives. 


References:

"Imagining the nonviolent state" by Ezra Klein

Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm by Kazu Haga

Book recommendations:

For the Benefit of All Beings by the Dalai Lama 

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Simon Wiesenthal


Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com

Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.

New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere)


Credits:

Producer/Editor - Jeff Geld

Researcher extraordinaire - Roge Karma

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The transformative power of restorative justice

The transformative power of restorative justice

Vox