What is the RJ City Project?
RJ City is a research and design project created to explore what seems to be a gap between the claims that restorative justice offers an alternative approach to conflict, crime and justice on one hand, and the rather limited use of restorative programmes in most countries on the other.
The project takes what is currently known about restorative justice and in a disciplined way tests the boundaries of that knowledge. This will force discussion of issues not ordinarily addressed, such as whether it can respond effectively to high volumes of cases, the social chaos and disintegration in parts of society, and the high value given to individual rights in the Western world.
This has been harder than we initially imagined. The first phase, which was supposed to take one year, has recently concluded after five! In part that was because this is a part-time activity for us, fitted in around other responsibilities, but in part it was because we had underestimated the number of assumptions that are challenged by restorative thinking. And of course, we’re not as smart as we thought we were five years ago.
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