I. Your first assignment this week is to read an excellent longform (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. article from The New York Times Magazine, “Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-criminal-justice.html?pagewanted=all) Links to an external site. Reading this essay is sure to complicate your notions about justice, punishment, and restitution. READ IT CAREFULLY, and TAKE NOTES.

II. Next, read “How Restorative Justice is Steering Young Offenders Away from Crime” (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/17/restorative-justice-young-offenders-crime) Links to an external site. from The Guardian. This is a bit different perspective on the issue of restorative justice (RJ). Just like the first article, make sure you take notes while you’re reading.

III. Now read in more depth about the concept of Restorative Justice to an external site., and also look up definitions for the words penal, penitentiary, and recidivism.

IV. The final article, “A Different Justice,” (https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/08/a-different-justice-why-anders-breivik-only-got-21-years-for-killing-77-people/261532/) Links to an external site. challenges some of the underpinning of RJ and using forgiveness in criminal justice. For greater context

V. The justice system in the US designed to be punitive instead of providive solace to the victim/family—in other words, the punishment is supposed to make the victim/family feel better. RJ, conversely, is a holistic take on both the crime and on the perpetrator. As you annotate the article, I’d like you to think about this topic along the following lines:

1. Is RJ, in your estimation, a viable antidote to some of the ills that accompany incarceration?
2. What flaws exist? What are the potential risks? What are the benefits?
3. Compare “Forgiveness” and “A Different Justice.” What is the cost of RJ that Fisher raises in Breivik’s case? Does this pertain to Conor McBride’s situation?

Last Updated on February 14, 2018