The Secretary of the EFRJ Board, Brunilda Pali, recently got the good new that she has been awarded a 3-year post-doctoral position at KU Leuven. The award is funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO), an agency that supports ground-breaking fundamental and strategic research at the universities of the Flemish Community and stimulates cooperation between the Flemish universities and other research institutes.
Brunilda’s research is entitled: “Restorative utopias in dystopian times: The shaping of restorative justice in the European penal systems and policies“. Find below a short summary of this research, which will be definitely interesting for our RJ community. For more questions please contact Brunilda at brunilda.pali
Criminology is struggling to make sense of the multiple, different and contradictory responses to crime, which also give rise to penal dystopias. The contradictions become visible especially in the simultaneous rise of imprisonment and alternative approaches, among which restorative justice. Restorative justice remains the main utopia challenging current penality, manifested in a desire to reform penal systems in their inner structures, through practices that are more adequate to the principles of democracies and human rights, while imagining a future when punishment is marginalised. This ideal is nevertheless far from reality. The question is why? The most obvious answer has been the idea of ‘bifurcation’, which means that -depending on offenders and offences, penal sanctions bifurcate into two tracks: prison or alternative sanctions. Restorative justice in particular is said to deal mainly with minor crimes and ‘low-risk’ offenders in a nonthreatening symbiosis with more punitive sanctions. But rather than talking about penal sanctions as if they could be divided into two types, Brunilda’s research investigates the complex rationalities and mechanisms that coexist in penal systems, by using restorative justice as a specific case. How is restorative justice used and why? The research explores in particular the shaping of restorative justice within the European penal systems, policies, and practices and seeks to reimagine restorative justice under the current penal dystopias.
Good luck with your new positions, Bruna! We are proud of you jumping in this new adventure!