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Prison Cell

Welcome: Prison administrators, prison officers, prisoners, victims, prisoner assistance NGOs and others interested in the use of restorative justice in confinement.

PrisonPrisons may not appear to be a natural place for restorative justice initiatives. They are filled with offenders who have been sentenced, typically without having been invited to participate in any restorative processes. The popular perception of prisoners is that they are dangerous people whose victims are unlikely to want contact, restorative or otherwise.

However, there are a number of restorative initiatives taking place. Some relate to the victim-offender relationship. Others to conflict resolution among prisoners. Still others to the operation of prisons themselves.

Start with the links immediately below for papers on some basic issues. In addition, there are a number of articles organized topically at the bottom of the page that may be of interest.

Check out these links . . . .

. . . . for an introduction to uses of restorative justice in prison . . . .

. . . . for a former prison governor's (warden's) perspective . . . .

. . . . for a study on the amount of debt US prisoners have when released from prison . . . .

. . . . for a description of a prison-based conflict resolution system . . . .

For more in-depth information, take a look at the topics below for many articles and other resources. Also, check out some of the other tabs on the RJ Online home page. Learn why judges use restorative processes in Court House, for example, and how information on the effectiveness of restorative programmes in Lecture Hall.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please contact us and we will do our best to help. Contact us by email at prisoncell@restorativejustice.org.

Overview
Articles discussing restorative justice in prison generally. These will address many of the topics given in this section.
Victim Awareness and Empathy Programmes
Articles concerning the use of victim panels, meetings with surrogate victims and victim awareness classes to lead prisoners to consider the effects of their behaviour on their victims.
Making Amends in Prison
Articles on the variety of ways prisoners can make amends to their victims and to the community while they are in prison.
Victim-Offender Dialogue
Articles on meetings of prisoners with their actual victims while they are in prison.
Conflict Resolution
Articles about teaching conflict resolution skills to prisoners and on the use of restorative justice process to resolve conflict inside prisons.
Transformation Programmes
Articles about teaching conflict resolution skills to prisoners and on the use of restorative justice process to resolve conflict inside prisons.
Preparation for Release
Articles describing restorative justice programmes whose objective is to prepare prisoners (and sometimes their families, victims and/or communities) for release.
Prison-Community Relations
Articles about community involvement in prisons and efforts by prisons to engage with their communities.
Examples
In Belgium and England there have been concerted efforts to introduce restorative justice into prisons in an expansive way.
Issues
Articles addressing the difficulty of introducing restorative justice programmes and principles into the prison context.
Prison Moratorium/Abolition
For nearly 50 years some have argued that prisons are inherently counterproductive and that they should be done away with completely (prison abolition). Others have conceded that some prisons are necessary but that far more people are sentenced to prison than should be. One corrective is to build no new prisons (prison moratorium). These articles explore the extent to which restorative justice programmes and policies could replace prisons.
Parole
Articles and resources on parole officers' work with victims, communities and offenders in a restorative response to crime.

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