8 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 659 (2006-2007)
Healing and Accountability in the Criminal Justice System: Applying Restorative Justice Processes in the Workplace

handle is hein.journals/cardcore8 and id is 663 raw text is: HEALING AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: APPLYING
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROCESSES IN
THE WORKPLACE
Kay Pranis*
The more we didn't care about them (inmates), the more we
didn't care about each other.
- Corrections Officer, Minnesota Department of Corrections
INTRODUCTION
Efforts to implement restorative justice in the criminal justice
system are often undermined by workplace cultures that are not
based on restorative justice values and principles (Wonshe, 2004).
Implementing a fully restorative approach to crime requires the co-
operation and commitment of those working in the criminal justice
system. However, people working in the criminal justice system
often feel victimized or unfairly treated as employees. When staff
are asked to treat victims and offenders with respect and dignity
and are asked to allow them a voice, staff often become more
acutely aware of the lack of dignity and respect and lack of voice
they experience in the workplace. Until workplace cultures are
brought more into alignment with restorative values it will be diffi-
cult to sustain restorative practices with victims and offenders.
This essay will describe efforts to apply the principles and
processes of restorative justice to the criminal justice system in
prison as a workplace. The initiative began as a pilot project in one
facility when prison staff recognized that they could not effectively
work with inmates in a restorative way until they changed their
relationships with one another. Based on the positive experience
of the pilot project the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MN
* Kay Pranis, the Restorative Justice Planner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections
since 1994, has worked in restorative justice since 1988. Kay focuses on promoting the use of
restorative justice principles in the criminal justice system and communities by providing training
and technical assistance to courts, correctional facilities, schools, and community groups. She
has spoken extensively in the United States and Canada, has received numerous awards for her
efforts, and has published thirty-seven articles and essays on restorative justice. This speech is
submitted in connection with the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution's 2006 Symposium
titled: Restorative Justice: Choosing Restoration Over Retribution.

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