Publications and Presentations
Below you can find the list of my English and Hungarian publications, presentations and essays. You can download the full text of most of them as well as can find their abstracts. Some of the Hungarian studies are also summarised in English. If you are interested only in the list of the titles, you can find them in my CV in English and in Hungarian.************
FELLEGI, B. (2008), "Érte vagy Vele?" Helyreállító szemlélet a gyermekvédelem mindennapjaiban [For or With? Restorative principles in the child care system's daily work], Előadás a XVI. Ferenci György Nevelőintézeti Tudományos Napon, Aszódi Javítóintézet, 2008. október 30.
FELLEGI, B. (2008), Communication of victim-offender mediation: working towards a professional consensus, Paper presented at the Fifth Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, 17 April, Verona.
FELLEGI, B. (2008), Túl a mediáción - kitekintés a helyreállító igazságszolgáltatás szemléletének elterjedtségére [Beyond Mediation - Searching for the Principles and Practices of Restorative Justice in Different Sectors and Countries], Előadás a Bűnmegelőzési Akadémián [Presentation at the Crime Prevention Academy], 2008. február 12.
FELLEGI, B. (2008), Túl a mediáción - kitekintés a helyreállító igazságszolgáltatás szemléletének elterjedtségére [Beyond Mediation - Searching for the Principles and Practices of Restorative Justice in Different Sectors and Countries], Előadás a Magyar Bíróképző Akadémián [Presentation at the Hungarian Judicial Academy], 2008. február 8.
FELLEGI, B. (2008), Megtorlás, megértés vagy megelőzés? Könyvrecenzió Kerezsi Klára Kontroll vagy támogatás: az alternatív szankciók dilemmája c. könyvéről [Retribution, Rehabilitation or Prevention? Book review about Klára Kerezsi’s book, titled Control or support: the dilemma of alternative sanctions], In. Esély, 2008/2.
FELLEGI, B. (2008), Büntetőügyi mediáció, fiatalkorúak elkövetése, családon belüli erőszak – Mit kezd mindezen kérdésekkel az osztrák intézményrendszer? [Mediation in criminal matters, juvenile delinquency, domestic violence – What can the Austrian judicial and social institution system do with these issues?], In. Család, Gyermek, Ifjúság, 2008/1, 5.
FELLEGI, B. (2007), Szakmai csoport a családi csoportról [Expert Group Conferencing about Family Group Conferencing], In. Család, Gyermek, Ifjúság, 2007/5.
FELLEGI, B. (2007), Resztoratív szemlélet a büntetés-végrehajtásban - Nemzetközi tapasztalatok [Restorative approach in the correctional setting - international practices], Előadás a Balassagyarmati Fegyház és Börtön konferenciáján, Balassagyarmat, 2007. devember 13.
A konferenciáról interjú a Nógrád Megyei Televízió Híradójában (2007. dec. 14.)
Az előadás power point változata
FELLEGI, B. (2007), Ügyészek és bírók attitűdjei a helyreállító igazságszolgáltatással kapcsolatban – Helyzetkép és jövőkép egy kutatás fényében [Attitudes of judges and prosecutors towards restorative justice - mapping the present and the future based on a research] Előadás a Magyar Kriminológiai Társaság ülésén, Budapest, 2007. november 29. [Paper presented at the Seminar of the Hungarian Society of Criminology, 29 November 2007, Budapest.]
Az előadás power point változata
FELLEGI, B. (2007), Megtorlás vs. jóvátétel: mi büntető rendszerünk célja az ügyészek és bírók szemével nézve? [Retribution vs. restoration: what is the goal of our justice system from the point of judges and prosecutors?] Előadás a ELTE Társadalomtudományi Kar Szociológia Doktori Iskolájának 2007. évi konferenciáján, Budapest, 2007. november 16. (Paper presented at the Conference of the ELTE Doctoral School in Sociology, Budapest, 16 November 2007).
Az előadás szöveges változata
Az előadás power point változata
Arsovska, J. and Valinas, M. and Fellegi, B. (2008), ‘Prologue to the Kosovo drama: origin, causes and consequences of a violent ethno-political conflict’, In. Aertsen, I., Arsovska, J., Rohne, H-C., Valinas, M. and Vanspauwen, K. (Eds.), Restoring Justice after Large-scale Violent Conflicts. Kosovo, DR Congo and the Israeli-Palestinian case. Willan Publishing.
Fellegi, B. (2007), Reconciliation between retribution and restoration: attitudes of judges and prosecutors towards restorative justice and victim-offender mediation in Hungary, Paper presented at the Conference of the European Mediation Network, 29 September, Vienna, Austria.
Fellegi, B. (2007), Attitudes of judges and prosecutors towards restorative justice in Hungary - lost in transition?, Paper presented at the 7th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, 28 September, Bologna, Italy.
FELLEGI, B., Torzs, E. and Velez, E. (forthcoming) ‘Restorative justice and victim-offender mediation in Hungary’, In. Aertsen, I.and Miers, D. (Eds.), A comparative study of restorative justice legislation in Europe, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Verlag für Polizeiwissenschaft.
FELLEGI, B. (forthcoming), ‘What restorative justice-related trainings do, can and should legal professionals have in Europe?’, In. Balahur, D. and Kilchling, M. (Eds.) Restorative justice research in Europe. Proceedings of the final COST Action A21 Conference and other Papers.
COKER, D., DE LA CONCHA, J., FELLEGI, B., HOGARTH, L., KADAPLACKAL, F., KAHN, B., PARLE, L. AND STAMATAKIS, N., (2007), The hidden dimensions of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Homelessness, Final report requested by Race on the Agenda, UK: London.
FELLEGI, B. (2006), Book review on Understanding Youth and Crime – Listening to Youth? by Shelia Brown (Open University Press, Berkshire, 2005), International Review of Victimology, 13(2): 224-225.
FELLEGI, B. (forthcoming in 2007) ‘Explaining the impact of restorative justice: the ‘4-way interaction’ of morality, neutralisation, shame and bonds’, In. Mackay, R., Bošnjak, M., Deklerck, J., Pelikan, C., van Stokkom, B. and Wright, M. (Eds.), Images of restorative justice theory, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Verlag für Polizeiwissenschaft.
While numerous studies have explored the procedural elements of restorative justice, the policy-related issues raised by this approach as well as its influences on communities both on micro and macro level, there has been little emphasis on the social-psychological mechanisms of restorative practices, i.e. on the issues of why this way of responding to crime might be more effective in reintegrating offenders and how it can achieve this goal more successfully than other sanctioning approaches.
This presentation intends to discuss whether the concepts of moral development, neutralisation, shame and social bonds and their possible interconnections can help us to understand the impact of restorative justice, and if so, how.
The main argument of the presentation is based on two presumptions: firstly, mapping the possible interrelations among offenders’ moral development, their use of neutralisation techniques, their shame feelings and shaming mechanisms from their social environments, and finally their social bonds can be highly beneficial in developing effective responses to wrong-doing on both individual and systemic levels. Secondly, restorative justice with its personalised way of dealing with conflicts has the potential to beneficially influence offenders’ as well as their community’s attitudes towards the effective reintegration of rule-breakers.
In the first part, some main theories will be presented in the field of the four selected dimensions. In order to be able to model their interconnections, their effects on offending and the influence of restorative processes on them, each dimension will be operationalised by using some of the main theoretical concepts of each field. For illustration, extracts from interviews conducted with serious offenders in English prisons will also be shown.
This will be followed by describing a model that might shed a light on the ways in which these dimensions relate to each other and contribute to offending behaviour.
In the third part, a restorative process will be presented in more detail, with an emphasis on those procedural elements that can be beneficial in realising changes towards the successful reintegration of offenders within the above-mentioned dimensions. In short, the presentation will intend to demonstrate the ways in which the process of restorative justice might affect the aspects of morality, neutralisation, shame and social bonds in the reintegration process.
Finally, the main policy implications of this approach will be discussed with some remarks on how restorative practices could and should consider the four detailed dimensions while designing their concrete models. In other words, the importance of the thorough consideration of each dimension will be highlighted. The presumption behind it is that if we would like to improve our social responses given to criminality and focus on implementing such interventions that have the real potential to reduce the harm that has been resulted by the conflict, we cannot avoid taking into account the dimensions of morality, neutralisations, shame feelings and social bonds.
In the last part of the presentation, I intend to have a “mirror to the mirrors-glimpse”: I would like to demonstrate how I have applied the theory of this paper when I asked prison inmates about how they see criminologists’ theories about their (i.e. offenders’) behaviour.
Az előadás szövege Word formátumban
Az előadás PowerPoint vázlata
Hogyan reagáljon a jog, a kriminológia és a szociálpolitika intézményrendszere a bűnözés növekvő mértékére, különös tekintettel a gyermekek és fiatalkorúak által elkövetett bűncselekmények esetében? Milyen módón tudná az igazságszolgáltatás hatékonyabban képviselni az áldozatok érdekeit? Hogyan lehetne csökkenteni a büntetőrendszer óriási költségeit, melyek nemcsak a börtönök fenntartásához szükségesek, hanem amelyekkel fedezni kell a börtönből szabadulók hosszú távú társadalmi kirekesztettségét is? Hogyan lehetne az állampolgárokat és közösségeiket aktívabban bevonni a bűnmegelőzésbe és a bűncselekményekre való válaszadás folyamatába?
Többek között a fentiekhez hasonló kérdések vezették a legtöbb európai országot afelé, hogy a helyreállítás szemléletére épülő igazságszolgáltatási modell (restorative justice) filozófiáját és gyakorlatát beépítsék igazságszügyi, szociálpolitikai és oktatási rendszereikbe. E szemlélet normaszegés elkövetése során a törvények és a szabályok sérelmével szemben az érintett személyek és az emberi kapcsolatok sérelmét tekinti elsődlegesnek. A megtorlás helyett célja, hogy a konfliktus előtti, eredeti állapotot visszaállítsa, az elkövetőket felelősségvállalásra ösztönözze, valamint, hogy a szégyenérzetre és ne a bűntudatra építsen. A resztoratív igazságszolgáltatás központi gondolata a bírói útról való elterelés és a konfliktus dialógussal, kommunikációval való kezelése. Ezen szemlélet egyszerre tűzi ki célul az érintettek sérelmeinek helyreállítását, a normaszegő személy reintegrációját, rehabilitációját az őt visszafogadó közösségbe, valamint a hosszútávra is kiható bűnmegelőzést.
Mindezek szükségességét felismerve, az ENSZ és az Európa Tanács számos ajánlást fogalmazott meg, az Európai Unió pedig kötelezővé tette a resztoratív igazságszolgáltatás egyik legelterjedtebb formájának, a tettes-áldozati mediáció (közvetítés) bevezetését minden tagállam igazságszolgáltatási rendszerébe 2006 márciusáig.
Előadásomban a resztoratív filozófia főbb ismérveit, formáit, hazai intézményesítésének legfőbb kérdéseit, valamint a területen végzett korábbi kutatásaim eredményeit vázolom fel. Néhány környező ország gyakorlatának bemutatásával, illetve a főbb hazai és nemzetközi stratégiák ismertetésével az összefoglaló elsődleges célja, hogy a büntetőjogi mediáció hazai alkalmazása immáron ne csak utópiaként, hanem a közeljövőben megvalósuló gyakorlatként is el lehessen képzelni.
The publication firstly discusses the relevance of restorative justice in the European countries’ current criminal policies followed by an overview of the special importance of the Central and Eastern European region in this issue. After this introduction the state of affairs of restorative justice in eleven Central and Eastern European countries can be read. The country reports discuss the legal base, the scope, the implementation, the evaluation and the future tendencies of restorative justice in each country. These detailed descriptions already well illustrate the common elements as well as the significant differences amongst the countries involved.
The third chapter discusses the main challenges in relation to the process of implementation. It firstly outlines the general tendencies in the Central and Eastern European region, focusing on three main dimensions: the criminological, the sociological and the institutional factors.
As to the criminological dimension, issues, such as the radical changes in crime, the high level of punitive attitudes and the hegemony of the state in the justice system are more detailed. The sociological concerns mainly relate to the lack of ‘sense of community’ and its consequences on the societal level. As another impact of the transition, it is pointed out that the increased anomaly in social values could directly lead to the weakening of moral and legal principles in these societies. The lack of shared value-systems, thus, easily led to the dramatic increase of crime. Finally, the common elements of the so-called institutional difficulties are sketched, including the lack of NGOs’ credibility, services, information, experts and so on.
The chapter’s second section intend to give a deeper insight into four, so-called ‘hot-issues’. This part detail how 1) legislation, 2) fundraising, 3) the awareness of the general public and professionals as well as the 4) training and other organisational issues are dealt with within the process of implementing restorative justice. This chapter is finished by some recommendations that the participants highlighted in relation to the abovementioned topics.
The fourth chapter moves towards the supportive factors in this region. Amongst the general tendencies, changes 1) in the legitimacy power of the justice systems, 2) in the underlying principles of sentencing systems as well as 3) in the role of communities are particularly emphasised. The second part of the chapter intends to draw a picture on some concrete examples firstly by describing best practices from 16 countries. Besides these encouraging projects of the present, concrete actions plans for the future are also formulated by the involved experts. These strategies can be read in the last part of the chapter.
As a bridge from the already existing supportive factors to further needs in the process of implementation, the different forms and functions of international exchange activities are described in the fifth chapter.
Finally, a summary of the main needs can be read that Central and Eastern European experts emphasised as essential elements for their further activities in the implementation of restorative justice in their countries. Concerning the realisation of successful implementation and improvement of restorative justice, nine areas can be distinguished under which the main needs connected to implementation can be grouped. The mostly highlighted needs relate to the issues of: legislation, institutional building, pilot projects; exchange – networking; resources (financial, informational and human); standards and guidelines; training; research and finally the public promotion of restorative justice. It is important to stress that any of the listed activities are essential on both national and international level.
This article discusses the current possibilities for applying restorative justice in the Hungarian criminal justice system as well as sketches the main future tendencies. Particularly the legal and political processes are highlighted. However, activities in the field of research, practice and training are also mentioned that have the potential to support the implementation of restorative justice in the Hungarian context.
Mohácsi Erzsébet cikkében (Hatévesen holtvágányon, október 29.) két fő kérdést tárgyal: 1. a cigány gyerekek elkülönített rendszerű és szemléletű oktatásából eredő, valóban nagyon súlyos etikai, jogi és szociológiai problémákat; 2. az ezekre adandó válasz lehetőségeit. Az első pontban teljesen egyetértek a cikkíróval. A helyzet valóban drámai. (Ezt támasztja alá a dr. Ligeti Györggyel végzett országos reprezentatív kutatásunk is, mely az Oktatási Jogok Biztosának Hivatala felkérésére készült 2003-ban.) De ami a helyzetre adott választ illeti, nem értek egyet Mohácsi Erzsébettel, aki a pereskedést, a jogi igazságszolgáltatást emlegeti, s erősen kritizálja passzivitásukért a szociológusokat, akik ebben a folyamatban nem kívánnak (akik nem ebben a folyamatban kívánnak) aktívan részt venni. Tovább...
This article summarises the main findings of an EU-funded project (coordinated by the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice) focusing on “Meeting the challenges of introducing victim-offender mediation in Central and Eastern Europe”. The project intended to help the exchange between the East and the West of Europe which can be beneficial for both parties, since not only CEE countries can use the experience of the West to try to find solutions to the specific problems they are encountering in the implementation of VOM but also Western European countries can learn a lot from the options taken in the Central and Eastern regions of Europe. The stimulation of these networking activities also intended to be beneficial for the European Union since the project aims to define more detailed policy recommendations by the end of the programme which could be considered concerning further developments of VOM at the Union level.
The report summarises the main findings and contents of the meetings, discussions and presentations organised within the framework of the project. Based on the exchange of policy makers, researchers and practitioners representing fifteen European countries, the article tries to draw a picture about the main difficulties, supportive factors and needs on an international level as well as present some of the Central and Eastern European countries’ current models, practices and legislation in the field of restorative justice.
P. József és Mortimer konfliktusa egy pár hét erejéig a magyar nyilvánosság reflektorfényébe került. Történetük kapcsán most véleményeket hallunk, olvasunk és mondunk. Így azon szereplőkön túl, akik a történet közvetlen résztvevői – az érintettek, családjaik, barátaik és a velük foglalkozó szakemberek – a csak közvetve (úgy azonban nagyon is) érintett hétköznapi ember is talán elmereng a társadalmi konfliktusok, előítélet, erőszak jelensége mögött meghúzódó főbb kérdéseken és ezekhez kapcsolódó gondolatain. Számomra azonban a társadalmi „diskurzus” minduntalan a Mi és az Ők merev elválasztottságát, az átmenetek, a párbeszédek hiányát sugallja a történet kapcsán nevesített csoportok között. Míg a 21-es busz mikrovilágát a karddal leszúrt és a karddal nem leszúrt emberek alkották, addig az erre adott társadalmi reakció romákról és nem romákról, rasszistákról (vagy a rasszizmus jelenlétét tagadókról) és a rasszizmust nyíltan elutasítókról, előítéletesekről és az előítéletek ledöntéséért küzdők vitáját tárja elénk. A büntető igazságszolgáltatás világa pedig áldozatok és bűnözők, illetve szabad emberek és szabadágukat vesztett emberek csoportjára bontva segít nekünk értelmezni a körülöttünk lévő társadalmat, az emberi interakciókat. Tovább...
The present study intends to create links between morality, neutralisation shame-feelings and social bonds. The starting point is that there has been a conflict – let us call it ‘crime’ by using the legal dictionary –, and we would like to react to it. In our response we use the paradigm of “restorative justice”. The purpose of this study is to explore why we chose this concept, and what is its possible impact on those who have been involved in the conflict with special regard to the offender.
The study discusses whether the effects of restorative justice can be understood by examining the dynamics of offenders’ status and its changing based on four main dimensions. 1.) their level of moral development which might help us understanding some of their motivations in their acts; 2.) the neutralisation techniques they might use, which are reflections of their cognitive explanations both for their past and for the status quo; 3.) the role of shame, which influences their emotional reactions, and 4.) their bonds indicating their social background.
In the 2002/2003 academic year a national, representative research was made by the Kurt Lewin Foundation (Budapest, Hungary) about the rights and the possible encroachment of rights of students with disadvantageous background. The research was requested by the Hungarian Ministry of Education. The goal of this research was to map the actual situation of the Hungarian education system, focusing on the attitudes, the status and the needs of the pedagogues, institution managements, policy-makers, and the families in order to present some best practices which might help the integration of the students with disadvantageous background into the public education system.
The main ideology of our research was that the effective ways of integration conduce to the more lawful functioning of the educational institutes. Our findings were based on a representative survey, interviews and participant observations. By the survey 1 464 pedagogues were questioned personally in more than 50 elementary schools. The 110 interviews were made with teachers, headmasters, parents, mayors, police officers, representatives of the social welfare and child welfare systems, priests and doctors.
The encroachment of rights very often affects the students in the public education system, especially those with disadvantageous background. These students are usually members of those educational institutions, which are disadvantageous themselves as well. Although the unlawful activities mostly happen in the classrooms, their reasons should be analysed in the outside world. The main reasons of the unlawful activities are the dysfunctional structure of the education system, the lack of communication between the institutions and the professionals, the existence of the deep poverty, unemployment, the problems of the Hungarian township-administration, and the strong prejudices. The Roma students, the children with special needs and their families are those who are the most endangered. Very often the disadvantageous, Roma background means pedagogical problem for the professionals. While non-Roma students’ educational problems are considered by the education system as results of their poverty, sociological difficulties, the same problems of Roma students are considered as individual responsibilities.
The encroachment of rights is mostly a result of the lack of communicational skills, knowledge about other ethnicities, practices, etc. in the institutions. These disadvantages of the professionals and the entire education system lead to that the students are obliged to learn about separated, specific subjects instead of having the possibility to learn the basic communicational skills and construct an integrated knowledge about the world. In spite of all the difficulties mentioned above, more and more programmes, activities, innovations come off in several education institutions in order to provide more equal rights and chances for students with disadvantageous background in the process of integration into the education system and into the society.
How can the child and youth protection and the criminal justice system prevent and tackle effectively the act of committing a crime? To what extent can these sectors cooperate and provide protection for the youth? If they can, how, and if they cannot, where are the weak points of the system? By answering these questions the thesis presents the approach and the structure of the restorative justice system and outlines its possible institutionalisation from a legal, socio-political, sociological, psychological and economic perspective.
The hypothesis of the research and the thesis is that the ‘network’ is breaking apart due to a large number of dysfunctions and that the approach and method mentioned might enhance a more effective, more efficient and more European operation of the child and youth protection systems.
In the first part of the thesis the theoretical background of restorative justice system is presented primarily relying on Hungarian and international literature related to the topic. Following this, a number of similar systems operating outside Hungary are described to demonstrate the possible realisation of the method. The paper then elaborates on the situation of young offenders in Hungary and the possible legal answers to it. In this way it is easier to think about how mediation and the restorative justice system might help within the Hungarian system. The idea is primarily supported by interviews made with experts and a questionnaire that observes attitudes to punishment and openness to mediation.
In the second part of the thesis a possible way of institutionalising the restorative justice system in Hungary is discussed. This is followed by the presentation of two research programmes, one that has been carried out and another one that is yet to be carried out. In one of these programs the method mentioned was used as prevention at a school, while the second programme uses the restorative justice system to help young offenders to re-socialise. Finally, the thesis is concluded with a case study that demonstrates what is currently happening in Hungary to those young offenders in the present justice system and what could happen in a hypothetical way if the restorative model was implemented.
This is the summary of an international conference titled ’Restorative justice and the victim-offender agreement as it is related to Criminology’, which was held in Oostende, Belgium from 10th to 12th October, 2002. The article elaborates on the variety of professions and countries that were present in the conference, which symbolises the interdisciplinary nature of the restorative approach and shows how imbedded it is in different societies having different legal systems. The conference proved to be a special place for the Central-European countries, as the plenary sessions provided the representatives with the opportunity to present the models based on mediation and the restorative approach that have been implemented in their countries and have shown the first successful results. After the summary of the most relevant presentations and workshops, the article finally sums up the questions that appeared as common problems of countries during the three days. In the conference it was discovered that the restorative and all the other alternative models have continued to represent a minority all over the world, that during the implementation of these models, the co-operation of various professions is essential, and finally that the successful application of the models reflects how developed the democratic decision-making mechanisms of a certain society are.
This paper is the evaluation of a research and pilot program of the Family, Child, Youth Priority Association carried out in 2001. This program was the first in Hungary to use restorative justice and the conference model for conflict resolution in a secondary school that has so called drop-out students. The six-month research program provided the teachers and the students with the opportunity to take part in team work and facilitator training focusing on team-building and changing people’s attitudes. Besides this, the Association used the conference method called “Real Justice” to tackle the current conflicts within the school. When the project finished, the feedback showed several results proving that the team had developed and many teachers and students understood the essence of the conference model and were awarded a facilitator’s certificate. This evaluative paper analyses the first part of the co-operation, giving details of the successes, the failures, the difficulties, the results, the methodological changes, the expected outcomes and the most important socio-psychological aspects of the process.
During the autumn of 2000 five fourth-year secondary school students knocked down a wooden cross, which was restored after the change of the regime to commemorate the church that had stood and had been demolished during communism. The case caused a hot political debate and also resulted in long-term conflicts in the school. The case study follows the way the boys were treated by the traditional judiciary and the similar institutions, which is how today the school, the police, the detainment, the lawyers, the court and the closed institutions deal with such a situation. The article takes the case as a model and does not evaluate the boys. It only uses the case to discuss those general processes that are commonplace in the traditional framework: the school wrongfully removes the boys from the classroom, the detainment serves as a taboo forever in the boys’ lives, the solicitors show a lack of common interest and use their defendants to serve their own interests on their defendants’ behalf, the offenders’ apology is rejected, therefore there is no atonement for the victims, and the boys become excluded from their community. The academic years, with which they start undertaking more responsibility, begins with secrets, procrastination, aggression, stigmatisation instead of atonement. The paper hypothetically discusses what would have happened as compared to what happened had mediation existed in Hungary and the restorative approach and justice system could have been used legally in the education system and in the criminal justice system. What would have happened to the boys, their parents, their friends, the school and the society?
The article outlines the history, the objectives and the structure of the SzocHáló programme and website, which started in 2001. The site, besides making social sciences popular, has become the first discussion page of social researchers and experts working in the social and civil sector. It is a website providing information on social science and help for academic studies. Both disadvantaged freshman students and students from the higher years take part in designing the SzocHáló website. The objective of the program is to integrate disadvantaged students into the working environment, which could prevent them from leaving university, could enhance their chances to do some professional work while studying at university and could help them gain experience, contacts, a work ethic, appreciation and financial security. As a result and one of the initial objectives of this programme, a discussion forum has been formed in order to bridge the gap between the layperson and the less accessible social scientists. The professional theories and literature is available in an easily comprehensible form, which greatly enhances the spread of the basics of sociology, such as reducing prejudice.
"The following essay will firstly discuss the reasons behind my argument pointing out that legislation is necessary in any justice system applying restorative practices. Following discussing the ‘pro-legislation’ aspects, I intend to sketch some of the possible dangers that have to be taken into consideration while designing any legislative framework. As a consequence, the final part of the essay will highlight those issues that, in my opinion, have even more underlying roles concerning the effective application of restorative justice than merely the emphasis on legal framework. Namely, in the final section the necessity of a broader approach in implementation issues will be discussed. Accordingly, I intend to argue that besides legislation we also need to focus on realising a suitable institutional as well as cultural framework in a society in order to find the place for restorative interventions in any justice system. If we forget this broader context and only consider the necessary legislative aspects, we can easily ‘loose the wood for the trees’".
Conversely, the main focus should be on identifying the underlying principles that we want to reflect on through the implementation process as a whole. Consequently, this exercise can highlight my presumption that legislation is only one of the aspects of implementation. Hence, solely regulations cannot guarantee the principled application of restorative justice. However, a broader vision about the position of restorative justice can help us in identifying the necessary steps that have to be taken not only in legal, but also in institutional and cultural terms." More...
"To answer the question very shortly, I would say: yes, the intention to define the meaning of justice should be an important goal for social policy, because the exchange about justice itself will make social policy more just. Moreover, I would also argue that as long as there is some disagreement, it can assure us that the exchange among the different concepts of justice will serve as a guarantee for its beneficial role. In other words, if once someone would predict that from tomorrow we would know what justice means, that would mean the end of our possibilities to make social policy more just, since we would probably not have more discussion about the concept of justice later on." More...
"The title of this essay looks fairly simple for the first instance: we have two concepts and we are looking for the possible relation between them. However, our second reaction immediately shows the difficulties behind analysing their connection and we might say: 'it depends on'. It depends on what we call shame and what we call desistance." More...
"The current essay has four main arguments: the first is that sentencing systems form a channel between the state and the individuals who are directly and indirectly affected by crime. Through this channel an explicit message is delivered to the people about the way disapproval of wrongdoing and prevention of further crime are represented. Secondly, sanctioning systems are different according to the extent to which they regard the individuals as 1) rational actors and 2) moral agents. (Duff, 1990: 43). Thirdly, the different systems have an impact on moral development of offenders; hence they can be compared according to these impacts. And as a final argument I would like to explore why I think restorative justice might provide better possibilities in addressing the wrong-doer as a rational and responsible moral agent than other conventional systems." More...
"During the political transition from socialist to democratic system, several problems arose in the Central and Eastern European societies. One of these difficulties is the significantly increased degree of criminality, especially in children and juveniles. Both theoretical and empirical studies have shown an association between the different forms of problem behaviours (for instance a correlation between school delinquency and committing other types of crimes), and the possible preventive role of schools . Since the specific problem of violence and discipline in schools also raises the general problem of moral education, one of the theories of school-based prevention focuses on developing ethics and values for living in a democratic society. . The following research project investigates whether there is any correlation between democratic socialization and the degree of school delinquency in the Hungarian schools. If there is, how can the knowledge of, and attitudes towards, legitimate rule enforcement, and democratic conflict resolution skills of teachers, school administrators and students be described, and what kind of preventive programmes could work effectively." More...
"Identifying the causes and the possible remedies to delinquency in schools has been a major goal in criminology, especially in recent years, when disruptions, assaults, vandalism and violence have become more intense in schools . While examining the processes and effects of the institution of school, we face a very complex system, where not only its values, but also its possible dangers have to be taken into account. On one hand, the school, as the secondary socializing agent for youths - according to the social control theorists - provides opportunities and incentives for them to develop attachments to prosocial others and commitments to conventional pursuits; on the other hand, symbolises ‘machinery through which the needs of different segments of the population are met through conventional institutes’ (Shaw and McKay, 1969, p: 384-385) . Delinquency, one of the ‘products’ of this ambiguous role, and its possible causes will be detailed in following lines." More...
"In this essay, I argue that instead of focusing on the creation of one general theory describing the phenomena of crime according to a post-modern approach, we rather should work only on identifying as many aspects, their influences, and roles as possible relating to community influences on delinquency and find links among them. The number of factors which have to be mentioned while we are analysing the influence of the community in relation to crime symbolises how complex not only the phenomena of crime is but also the ‘institute’ of community. " More...