Forgiveness & Apology in the Aftermath of Serious Crime: Restorative Opportunities in Post-sentencing, Prison based Practice

Dr Jane Bolitho1, Ms Jenny  Bargen2

1University Of New South Wales Australia, UNSW, Australia, 2University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

In this paper we explore the realities of forgiveness & apology an empirical study of 74 victim offender conferences completed by the Restorative Justice Unit in the NSW Department of Justice in a correctional setting, post-sentencing following serious crime (including murder, manslaughter, armed robbery). While restorative justice advocates such as Walgrave (2008) have argued that apology and forgiveness are essential elements in restorative justice processes we offer a revised lens through which to conceive forgiveness and the place of apology following serious crime, by drawing on of literatures from transitional justice to philosophy, psychology, ethics and law.

Biography:

Jane is an active member of the restorative justice and dispute resolution research hub at UNSW Australia where she works as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology. Over fifteen years her research has explored the dynamics of restorative justice focusing on the experiences of victims and perpetrators in youth justice and adult models, in the aftermath of both minor (pre sentencing) and violent crime (post sentencing) cases. Jane is an accredited mediator and a practising youth justice conference convenor.

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