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How can it be argued that it is fair to treat some offenders informally?

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Informal treatment can often be more appropriate for those offenders with special educational needs. An offender with a low IQ, for example, may find a more formal approach to justice quite bewildering, meaning that at no point in proceedings do they ever really know what's going on. As well as denying the individual offender fair and equal treatment, such an approach does not provide justice to the victim and the community as a whole because the offender in question will never be able to face up to what they've done.

Whereas a more informal method of treatment, on the other hand, may well hold out the prospect of the offender having a much better idea of the consequences of their actions. Restorative justice programs are a good example of this, giving offenders a chance to make amends for their crimes instead of simply...

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