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Alternative Models of

Justice

Examine Traditional and Non-Traditional Models

Consider alternative models of justice around the world.

Introduction

In response to misbehavior, societies often respond with punishment. This is known as traditional “retributive justice.” But alternative models of justice also exist and have been practiced in certain contexts. Rather than retribution, these models often focus more on rehabilitating offenders, reintegrating them into the community, and fostering social reconciliation.

Research one of the case studies listed below. Each case study illustrates one model for how justice can work in a given situation. Some models may be more compatible with truth, peace, and reconciliation than others. Some may more closely resemble a “traditional” sense of justice than others.

Assess the merits and drawbacks of these alternative models of justice compared to their more traditional counterparts.

Flowers placed on top of the mass graves of 500,000 murdered Tutsi tribespeople at the Rwandan Genocide Memorial in Kigali, Rwanda.

Case Studies

 

  • Restorative justice in American schools, in response to student misbehavior
     

  • Rehabilitation (versus punishment) for inmates in the prison system
     

  • South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission
     

  • Rwanda’s post-genocide community Gacaca courts

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