Group says revenge no way to deal with wrongdoers
Tasmania's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (TCJPC) has issued a discussion paper promoting restorative justice as a more appropriate means of dealing with inappropriate behaviour than sanctions based on retribution.
TCJPC Chairman Doug Rutledge, said traditional approaches of revenge, retribution and harsh prison sentences do little to change the behaviour patterns of offenders.
"As Pope John Paul II said, we need, as a community, to offer those who commit crimes a way of redeeming themselves and making a positive return to society," Mr Rutledge said.
"This approach is already proving very effective in schools, businesses and community organisations where conflict and disputes can arise from time to time," he said.
Mr Rutledge said the aim of this latest Issues Sheet - the fifth in the Fairer Tasmania Series - is to promote discussion and debate about dealing with offenders in a way that minimises the chances of them re-offending, while still ensuring that they acknowledge and remedy the consequences of their wrongdoing.
"We cannot use our justice system simply as a means of retribution against offenders without regard to reducing the likelihood of their re-offending, and this is especially so in regard to young offenders," he said.
"Unless we encourage a greater emphasis on restorative justice and rehabilitation programs, more and more prisons will be needed as offenders become more and more entrenched in a life of crime and anti-social behaviour."
The Issues Sheet on Restorative Justice is available on the TCJPC website (www.tasjustice.org) or by telephoning the Commission on (03) 6208 6271.
True justice means more than prison (Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission 12/12/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission Archdiocese of Hobart 2008
Tasmanian justice system failing: Hobart Bishop (CathNews 16/10/06)
13 Dec 2007