Exploring Strength-Based Approaches to Criminal Justice: A Reflection

In a recent presentation from the Lausanne University in Switzerland, Aurélie Stoll, an assistant and researcher in Criminology, delved into two strength-based approaches within the criminal justice system – desistance from crime and restorative justice. With her extensive background as a social worker and probation agent, Stoll brings a unique perspective to these topics

Stoll’s presentation began by highlighting her academic journey. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in economic and social sciences at the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, she went on to pursue a Master’s degree in criminology and security. This solid foundation laid the groundwork for her subsequent work as a social worker and probation agent for nearly six years.

One of Stoll’s primary areas of research is desistance from crime – the process through which individuals cease engaging in criminal behavior. She also explores interventions aimed at promoting conventional life among adults and children who have come into conflict with the law. What makes Stoll’s research particularly interesting is its focus on both occidental (Western) and non-occidental contexts.

The presentation then shifted gears to discuss restorative justice – an alternative approach that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime rather than solely punishing offenders. By bringing together victims, offenders, and community members, restorative justice aims to address not only legal but also emotional needs while fostering accountability.

Throughout her talk, Stoll compared these strength-based approaches with mainstream approaches prevalent in academia and Western criminal justice systems. By doing so, she highlighted their specificities while identifying common ground between them. This joint reflection was enriched by real testimonials that shed light on new perspectives for reflection as well as concrete ways to ensure social balance and peace.

Restorative justice stood out as one such avenue worth exploring further within the realm of criminal justice systems focused primarily on risk-based approaches. Its emphasis on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and the restoration of relationships between victims and offenders presents a compelling alternative to traditional punitive measures.

Desistance from crime, on the other hand, offers valuable insights into understanding why individuals stop engaging in criminal behavior. By examining factors that contribute to this process, such as personal transformation, social support networks, and access to education or employment opportunities, policymakers can develop targeted interventions that facilitate resistance.

In her presentation, Stoll emphasized the importance of adopting strength-based approaches within the criminal justice system. By shifting away from solely focusing on risks and deficits associated with offending behavior towards recognizing individuals’ strengths and capacities for change, we can create more effective strategies for rehabilitation and reintegration.

Overall, Aurélie Stoll’s presentation provided a thought-provoking exploration of strength-based approaches within the criminal justice system. Her expertise as both an academic researcher and practitioner added depth to her analysis. By highlighting desistance from crime and restorative justice as viable alternatives to mainstream approaches prevalent in Western societies today, she opened up new avenues for reflection – ones that prioritize social balance and peace while fostering accountability among those who have come into conflict with the law.