A More Humane Approach to Addressing Harm
The core value of the common good, which sustains community and justice, is being eroded in modern society.1 Globalisation has provided many material comforts, but resulted in an underlying sense of insecurity and risk.2 Many people have lost the experience of solidarity with others that community and religion offered in the past. They feel threatened by other groups, often blaming them for their lack of access to employment, housing and public services.
In this paper, which is based upon research commissioned by a Catholic philanthropic organisation, an alternative, and more humane approach to addressing harm is presented – one that has a greater potential for positive outcomes. In our original research, we were interested specifically in the values of human dignity, active participation in society, the common good, social justice, and solidarity. These are concepts that also serve as core components of Catholic social teaching. Our goal was to explore if these values could transform the way society responds to crime.