Like Anything Else, RJ May Not Be Best For All

An Article in the December, 2011 edition of RJ online caught my attention.  The title of the article was, “Restorative Justice May Not Work for All Young Offenders.”  (


 My initial reaction was, “ No kidding.  I don’t know of anything that works for everyone.”  Then I read on.  As it turns out, the issues addressed in the article are some that I have not seriously considered before. 

Pamela Snow,   the author of the article, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Monash University.   While she applauds the effort to employ alternatives to simply punishing young people for their actions, she warns us not to ignore the research showing that “young offenders represent a group at high-risk of unidentified oral language impairments.”  Without the skills to effectively express themselves verbally, how can these young offenders reap the full benefits of restorative dialogue?

Great question Professor Snow.  Thank you for raising it!

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