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Title: RJ policy transfer : the case of Jamaica
Author: Levers, Leanne Alexis
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 5859
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is a critical examination of the national Restorative Justice policy in Jamaica developed between 2001 and 2015. Restorative justice was considered as part of a larger on-going attempt of penal reform. Within this thesis, I adopted this definition from Tony Marshall thesis1: "RJ is the process whereby all parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of an offence and its implications for the future (Marshall, 1999). Essentially, as a process that brings all those with a stake in a particular offence to collectively resolve the aftermath of the offence and its future implications, Restorative justice aims to do three things: (i) address the victim's needs (ii) hold the offender accountable in a way that reintegrates them into society with reduced likelihood of reoffending and (iii) empower the community by involving them in providing justice to victims. I propose that RJ is consistent with an international human rights perspective on justice. This viewpoint understands punishment as an opportunity for addressing the direct cause of offending through an individualised approach to accountability. I argue that restorative justice can be an effective penal policy. However I argue that it is most beneficial when it is community driven, whilst having the financial support and supervision of the state. The restorative justice policy process might have been an opportunity for the Jamaican government to implement effective penal policy. However, I argue that the Jamaican government engaged in a type of inappropriate policy transfer, where there was a failure to consider the cultural, political context of the country throughout development and implementation of policy. In particular, the government, as a result of the historically skewed donor relations in Jamaica, engaged in opportunistic policy transfer, where they gave primacy, without coercion, to the perceived interests of international donors. This is clear from the lack of even collaboration among stakeholders. This failure to be collaborative meant the neglect of such local facts of life as the lack of resources, political corruption and public mistrust of the state, the long-standing community loyalties to 'dons' or local leaders of organised crime and most importantly, the presence of informal mechanisms for dispute resolution already operating within the Jamaican context that might have provided a foundation for a context-specific effective 'Jamaicanised' form of restorative justice. 1 As part of the formal justice system, RJ is typically embraced as an approach for juvenile offenders initially. While I mention that this would have been a beneficial approach for the Jamaican government to make in Chapter 6, there is limited scope to move beyond this position, since its recognised use is limited to that of adults.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare ; KN Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica