Taking the Punishment Out of the Process: From Substantive Criminal Justice Through Procedural Justice to Restorative Justice

Brenda Sims Blackwell, Georgia State University
Clark D. Cunningham, Georgia State University

This paper takes as its starting point Malcolm Feeley's seminal insight that in the lower criminal courts, the punishment is usually the process itself, making the question of guilt or innocence irrelevant. The paper then draws on work in the procedural and restorative justice fields and applies these combined perspectives to discuss three promising experiments to make lower criminal courts more essentially just, focusing in particular on an innovative non-profit criminal defense organization in Atlanta: The Georgia Justice Project.

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Updated 05/20/2006