Recidivism occurs when an individual repeats a bad behavior they have suffered negative consequences before, even after undergoing counseling and training to leave the bad behavior. This behavior is experienced most in former prisoners who get rearrested for the same offence. One suggestion about the possible cause of behavior is failure of the corrective measures to prepare the offenders on how to handle difficulties when they re-enter society.
Restorative justice and recidivism
Restorative justice is the way of approaching justice, which emphasizes on the basic needs of the offenders (Tyler, 2006). It is an approach to justice with an aim of correcting harm caused by the crime and holding the offender responsible for his/her action through restoration programs. Rehabilitation is a successful approach adopted by restoration justice to lower cases of recidivism, it repairs the harm caused by the crime and mend broken relationships between victims and offenders. Restorative justice has enabled people to resume their daily activities, work and sleep in the society without fear or discrimination. Reduced fears by the offender lower the likelihood that the offender can repeat the same offense. Reduced anger towards the offender, increased level of security with minimum chances of revenge from the victims of the crime limits the chances that the offender can repeat the same mistake.
Restorative justice has enabled offenders to get accepted back in the society. Acceptance helps reduce recidivism rates as offenders and victims meet with people in the society through restorative conferences where they solve their difference through negotiation (Johnston, Gerry, Daniel & Ness, 2007). Restorative conferences involve many participants in the society like, friends, families, offenders and victims. Restorative justice has also minimized cases where offenders abuse the victims of crime violently and verbally. This is as a result of great feelings of trust in others, increased sense of self-confidence, and sympathy the offender received from the society.
Restorative justice has proven useful in juvenile crime due to the high role the family plays in the life of the juvenile offender. It also works well to the offenders who are sent to prison. Restorative justice purpose in prison is to assist in rehabilitating the prisoner and prepare them on ways to overcome hardships when he re-enters into society (Tyler, 2006). Another group of offenders that restorative justice is useful to them is the vandals. Victim-offender dialogue is arranged in the presence of mediator, also called restorative of justice dialogue. Victim and the offender can reach agreement with assistance from the mediator to solve their differences (Johnston, Gerry, Daniel & Ness, 2007).
Procedural justice and recidivism
Procedural justice is the idea of bringing in fairness in the process of dispute resolution and resource allocation. Procedural justice is concerned with transparency and fairness in the process of making decisions by hearing from all parties. Procedural justice emphasizes perception of fairness when it comes to outcome, it determines the extent at which individual is contended that fairness has been made in allocation decision. Procedural justice has shown sound effects in influencing the level of perception of fairness when resolving conflicts.
Procedural justice can be used to reduce the rate of recidivism. Psychological process of procedural justice influence members identified with a set group, which will influence how members of that group interact. In procedural justice processes, behavior of identity groups can be influenced, and some moral values can be emphasized. Influencing such a group will change their attitudes towards repeating the same offence. Procedural justice use fairways of communication to the offenders emphasizing how they are valued members of a set group; this will make them feel more accepted to the group and thus reducing the chances of repeating the same offence. For a criminal case, fairness will be achieved by exonerating the innocent person and conviction of the guilty. All parties; offender and the victim will be satisfied that the trial was done in a fair way.
Procedural justice is useful in communication to a group of people, for example, in the work place fair procedures are followed to give employees a chance to have a say in the process of making decisions. This approach allows a person who is affected by an opportunity to be given a chance to participate in decision-making. In a situation of trial, it will require the defendant to be given an opportunity to cross-examine witness, provide evidence and be present during the trial.
When the offender is granted this chance, his perception for fairness will be fulfilled. Procedural justice is influential in law; it is natural justice that brings together people from public and private entities. It is supported by people, by making it appear in some clauses of the constitution, for example, it appears in the American constitution in “due process” clauses.
Psychological crime will be because of deviant behavior; a behavior contradicting dominating normality of society. The causes of deviant behavior include psychological, sociological and biological explanations. Based on the theories of psychological theories of crime, procedural justice is more useful than restorative justice. Psychological theories point out that, individuals are responsible for their own criminal actions these actions are motivated by an individual’s personality (Lind & Tyler, 1988). Psychoanalytic theory explains that human criminal tendencies can be reduced through a socialization process; this is applicable in procedural justice by allowing the offender to belong to a group. Social group will assist in curbing offender criminal tendencies. According to cognitive theory, criminal behavior arises from the way individuals think about law and morality. Psychologist suggested three stages of reasoning in which people who grow progress through these stages, people who do not go through the stages end up being criminals and deviants as they become rooted to their moral development. Learning theory is based on a person’s behavior learned by circumstances (Lind & Tyler, 1988).
Legal law has provided justice for the victims of crime, but it has failed to prepare the offenders on how to deal with challenges when they re-enter the society. Restorative and procedural justice can be applied to reduce the rate of recidivism in the society. This law allows offenders to be accepted back to the society, and carry on with their normal lives without victimization.
Lind, E. A. and Tyler T. R. (1988). "The social psychology of procedural justice," New York: Plenum Press.
Johnston, Gerry, Daniel & Van Ness W. (2007). Handbook of Restorative Justice. Devon, UK: Willan Publishers.
Tyler, T. R. (2006). Restorative justice and procedural justice: Dealing with rule breaking. Journal of Social Issues.