CALL FOR PAPERS: Making a restorative criminal justice system a reality

Published 29/11/2019
Type Rapid Communication
Author(s) Kevin Wong
Corresponding Authors

Since our very first issue, the British Journal of Community Justice has sought to examine the potential for restorative practice to be applied to the criminal justice system.

Guy Master’s paper, published in Issue 1:1, was written while he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Restorative Justice, Australian National University. At the time he was on leave from his post as Referral Order Manager at the Essex Family Group Conferencing Service. Guy’s paper reflected on the involvement of victims of youth crime in restorative processes

Our most recent contribution has been Paul Gavin and Muna Sabbagh’s paper on Developing community courts with restorative justice in Ireland published in our most recent issue .

Perhaps it is indicative of the level of awareness of restorative justice (RJ) among criminal justice practitioners and policymakers in the United Kingdom (UK) and other jurisdictions that the RJ acronym generally sparks instant recognition.

However, the extent to which the criminal justice system in the constituent parts of the UK and in other jurisdictions have embraced RJ to the point where any such system could be described as restorative is perhaps an ambition that is still yet to be realised.

In a challenge to practitioners, policy makers and researchers, Shadd Maruna (2016:290) called on restorative justice and desistance theory – the two ‘hot topics’ of criminology over the last few decades to “…live up to their promise (some would say ‘hype’)” of challenging mainstream criminal justice.

Joining forces with the Criminal Justice Alliance – a coalition of over 150 organisations committed to improving the criminal justice system in England and Wales, working across policing, prison and probation – we invite submissions from academics, practitioners and policy makers on the theme of Making a restorative criminal justice system a reality.

For this special issue our focus encompasses restorative justice and broader restorative practices & approaches, i.e. looking beyond just traditional RJ conferencing.

We are particularly (but not exclusively) interested in: the challenges of translating RJ into practice; the discourse around RJ adequately (or not) addressing the needs of victims as well as people with convictions; and the application of RJ to all offence types or only certain offences.

In particular, we invite submissions from early career researchers and from international colleagues, in jurisdictions outside the UK where RJ practice may be further developed or where RJ practice may just be taking off.

There is much that we can all learn from how RJ is being applied in different policy and practice contexts.

Our timetable for publishing this special issue is:

Deadline for abstracts and expressions of interest in writing for the special issue: 10th January 2020

Deadline for submissions – 31st March 2020

Publication – June 2020

The journal’s editorial board and the Alliance look forward with interest to receiving your submissions.

If you would like to submit a paper or discuss an idea for a paper please contact us at

Please note that papers should be no longer than 7,000 words (including references but excluding the abstract).


Maruna, S. (2016) Desistance and restorative justice: it’s now or never, Restorative Justice, 4:3, 289-301, DOI: 10.1080/20504721.2016.1243853