Restorative justice in Greek juvenile prison facilities
Justice systems around the world are constantly working to balance reform/rehabilitation/re-entry and punishment in response to juvenile delinquency. In recent years, there has been a strong emphasis on the notion of restorative justice as an alternative approach to criminal justice, yet there continues to be a dearth of information on the interrelation between restorative justice, religion and imprisonment, especially among youth. The present research seeks to explore the applicability and possible future implementation of restorative justice programmes for late adolescent and young adult male offenders (18–21 years old) held in the Special Detention Institutions of Greece. It also aims to identify any links between restorative justice and religion in a youth custodial setting. A self-administered quantitative study was distributed to achieve this aim. Due to the large migrant population hosted in those institutions, the data analysis provided no statistically significant relationships between the inmates’ willingness to meet with their actual/surrogate victims, and ask for forgiveness/restore relationships with them. Equally insignificant was found the inmates’ eagerness to get involved in restorative mediation with their capacity to acknowledge the harm that their crime inflicted on others, and to make amends.
Nikolaos Stamatakis, senior lecturer in Criminology with Mid-Sweden University