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An Overlooked Path Towards Heaven From Hell: Role Of Religion In Restorative Justice

Arjun Raj MV, CT University


Religion is an inextricable part of human existence. Religion for some provides a sense of community, while for others it can answer the great questions of life and death1. Religion helps people to cope with various unfortunate circumstances and make sense of the chaos that occur in their life. Prisoners live a life which is filled with uncertainty, gripped by fear and anxiety by an environment conducive of violence and ironically a life filled with boredom; religion and spirituality can be their path towards self-actualization, sense of control and time distortion.2 Thus it is necessary to inculcate faith-based prison programs to help prisoners cope with their existential crisis that they face in prison. Whether they reach self-actualization or not, one day most prisoners are bound to step into the mainstream society, so it is necessary to ensure that prison prevents recidivism and their further indulgence in crimes. Religion based rehabilitation programs are also proven to be more effective and less expensive in subduing recidivism3. Religion can be an effective tool for providing restorative justice. When we talk about rehabilitation and correctional programs for prisoner’s religion skewers into the conversation as a potential instrument. India being a country known for its disposition of spirituality and religion is certainly missing out the opportunity of using this as an instrument for rehabilitating prisoners due to lack of policies and provisions. Correlation between religion- except Christianity- and restorative justice has largely been overlooked.4 This paper aims to emphasize the importance of religion on criminal justice for providing restorative justice and to point out a lacuna for policies and provision which facilitates their competent implementation.

Keywords: Religion, restorative justice, criminal justice system, prison system, spirituality, faith-based programs


Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research

Abbreviation: IJLLR

ISSN: 2582-8878


Accessibility: Open Access

License: Creative Commons 4.0

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​All research articles published in The Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research are fully open access. i.e. immediately freely available to read, download and share. Articles are published under the terms of a Creative Commons license which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IJLLR or its members. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the IJLLR.

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