2022: Jove's Bodega: Compendium of Philosophical Inquiry

Critically Analyzing Restitution and Restorative Justice Through an Ethics of Care Lens

Jove's Bodega: Compendium of Philosophical Inquiry, 2022, cover image

Published 2023-01-30


In chapter five of “The Problem of Punishment,” David Boonin (2008) describes a moral problem with punishment. He proposes relying more heavily on victim restitution within our current criminal justice system. Similarly, Jon'a Meyer (1998) explores the restorative justice framework rooted in Indigenous traditions in her article "History Repeats Itself: Restorative Justice in Native
American Communities." Both make convincing arguments for alternatives to our punishment system. However, their claims are controversial because many believe that punishment is vital for a society to function (Boonin, 2008, p. 214). I will introduce the ethics of care perspective to bolster Boonin and Meyer's ideas that support restitution and restorative justice over punishment.
I will argue that we should incorporate restitution and restorative justice as a gentler approach to altering our existing criminal justice system.