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Sixth Just Justice Talk - Restorative Justice in Schools: Can it Co-exist with Punishment?

The sixth instalment of Just Justice Talk (JJT) saw over more than 48 online participants.

Organised and moderated by the Public Safety and Security Interest Group (PSS IG), the highly anticipated sixth instalment of the Just Justice Talk (JJT) series ended on a high note on 2 November 2023, with more than 48 participants in attendance.

This sixth instalment welcomed guest speaker Dr Julia Wong, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), who provided perspectives on Restorative Justice (RJ) in schools. Drawing from her research and practical experience, Dr Julia helped attendees gain a deeper understanding of restorative justice within educational settings and its compatibility with traditional punitive approaches. Her insights deepened attendees' comprehension of the spectrum of RJ tools and raised essential questions about whether restorative justice and punishment are mutually exclusive. Attendees learned that punishment, such as caning, is retained as a complementary response to students' wrongdoings rather than as a replacement for the existing disciplinary framework.

The event concluded with an insightful Q&A session, fostering an active discussion between Dr Julia Wong and the participants. This highlighted the significance of implementing restorative practices to cultivate a more supportive and inclusive educational environment.

Reflecting on the session, Brenban Lim, a Year 1 Public Safety and Security student, remarked, “Even though Restorative Justice has great potential in schools and despite our best efforts to apply it, punishments have to also be in place as a deterrent measure to deter the student from reoffending and the rest of the school population from making the same mistake while at the same time serving justice to the victims. This Zoom session has corrected my view that Restorative Justice and punishments cannot mix.”

This Just Justice Talk session was organised by the Public Safety and Security Interest Group. To participate in future JJT sessions, keep a lookout for upcoming email invitations and stay tuned to find out more about PSS IG events! 
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