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 role and place of restorative justice in the penal systems and policies in Europe“. 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
The discipline of criminology is struggling to make sense of the different and contradictory nature of responses to crime. The contradictions become visible especially in the simultaneous rise of imprisonment and rise of alternative approaches, among which restorative justice. The most obvious answer seems to be a logic of ‘bifurcation’, which means that -depending on offenders and offences- penal sanctions bifurcate into two track: prison or alternative sanctions. Restorative justice in particular is said to be dealing mainly with minor crimes and ‘low-risk’ offenders in a nonthreatening symbiosis with more punitive sanctions. Rather than talking about penal sanctions as if they could be divided into two distinct types, Brunilda’s research investigates the rather 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 produces a systematic investigation of the place and role of restorative justice in the European penal systems, policies, and practices and seeks to reimagine restorative justice under the current penal dystopias. Restorative justice remains today the main utopia of challenging current penality, manifested in a desire to reform penal law and penal systems in their inner structures, in favour of practices that are more adequate to the ideals and principles of modern democracies and to human rights, imagining a “future when punishment is marginalised”.
Good luck with your new positions, Bruna! We are proud of you jumping in this new adventure!