A Restorative Framework for Transforming Police Practice

A Restorative Framework for Transforming Police Practice


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Our policing institutions are in a state of crisis. This article argues that meaningful reform will require cultural transformation that places community and relationships at the core of frontline policing. The integration of restorative practice—restorative principles and techniques—is presented as a better approach to reform than other solutions currently on offer. While fully acknowledging that restorative justice in policing is one of the most contested areas of application, this article asserts that objections are principally based on an overly restrictive view of police officers as facilitators. Much less attention has been given to how restorative practice can frame frontline policing to improve staff morale and increase positive police–community interactions. This article plugs that gap. Drawing on more than a decade of research, I propose foundational components of an explicit practice framework for restorative policing and outline the potential outcomes for frontline officers and the communities they serve.

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Kerry Clamp, Ph.D.