peacemaking criminology | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

Peacemaking criminology is a theory that encourages social justice, nonviolence, and restorative justice rather than traditional punitive methods.

The Basics of Peacemaking Criminology

Peacemaking criminology is an important concept in the world of criminal justice. It’s a theory that suggests we should focus on social justice, nonviolence, and restorative justice. It’s a bit like a different recipe for making society safer and more just. Instead of focusing on punishing people, we try to build peace and restore harm.

Understanding the Theory

This theory was developed as a response to traditional methods of dealing with crime. Traditional criminal justice often leans towards punishment. For example, if someone steals, they might go to jail. But, in peacemaking criminology, the goal is to find a solution that repairs the harm done without resorting to violence or punishment.

Accordingly, the theory of peacemaking criminology centers on three main principles: social justice, nonviolence, and restorative justice.

Social Justice

Social justice refers to the idea that everyone should have equal access to wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society. It’s about making sure the rules are fair for everyone, not just a few. Peacemaking criminologists believe that social justice is a key factor in reducing crime. After all, if people feel they’re being treated fairly, they’re less likely to commit crimes.


Peacemaking criminologists also believe in nonviolence. This means they don’t think violence or force is the best way to respond to crime. Instead, they think we should try to understand why people commit crimes and work on preventing these causes. This approach values human life and dignity above all, aiming to preserve peace in society.

Restorative Justice

Lastly, restorative justice is a cornerstone of peacemaking criminology. This concept emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime. It’s not about punishment but about healing. Victims, offenders, and community members are encouraged to come together to find a solution that brings about healing and peace.

How Peacemaking Criminology Can Change Criminal Justice

Peacemaking criminology could significantly change how our criminal justice system operates. After that, if these principles were applied, our response to crime would be more focused on healing than on punishment. This could lead to less violence, more fairness, and stronger communities.

Why It Matters

Peacemaking criminology matters because it presents a new way of thinking about crime and justice. It’s a perspective that could make our society safer and more fair. All things considered, peacemaking criminology is an important theory in criminal justice that could shape the future of how we deal with crime.

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Last Modified: 07/12/2023

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