Erin Kelly, Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University presented a lecture entitled "Restorative Justice" on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at 5:00 PM in 115 - Pruyne Lecture Hall, Fayerweather Hall.
Abstract: Restorative justice is typically conceptualized as an interpersonal or second-personal reckoning with wrongdoing between two parties: a responsible party and a victim. Accounts tend to focus on acknowledgment, apology, and character change—work that the guilty party must do to reconcile with the victim. While personal change is an important element of restorative justice, this portrait fails to capture the community dimension of the practice. Restorative justice is worth considering as a community-based approach to justice with potentially transformative impact beyond perpetrator and victim. The radical idea that victims could heal together with the parties that injured them is realized through the cultivation of empathy and understanding between and beyond the most directly involved parties. Understanding the wide scope of restorative justice highlights its potential to address historically entrenched forms of injustice such as, in the United States, the longstanding mistreatment of Black Americans. Restorative justice integrates a reparative approach into the substance of interpersonal ethics. It is a fitting approach to criminal wrongdoing in a society that is deeply marred by slavery and its legacy of socioeconomic inequality, deprivation, and state-sponsored violence.