Leon Dundas

Leon is passionate about social justice issues and has wide-ranging (including senior-level) experience in the public sector, community-conflict resolution, prison systems, and health care organizations. His career spans both international and multicultural contexts in Guyana, Trinidad, and Tobago, Jamaica, the US, and now in the UK.

"Colorizing Justice Practice: Afro-Caribbean Experience of Restorative Justice in Three World Areas"

Leon Dundas examines the nature of colorizing the restorative justice movement, bringing at least twenty-five years of restorative justice experience to the discussion. Dundas defines CRJ as power-sharing, i.e., a dialogue-based approach that centers the decision-making process around those who have been excluded or marginalized. With this working definition, Dundas treats us to models and ways of thinking that rightly guide restorative justice away from national or state institutionalization and back to local communities, where its transformative potential is greatest.

With his critical eye, Dundas identifies two tiers of practitioners: RJPoids and RJPoints. RJPoids are individuals from the dominant social group who direct restorative justice and set its course: researchers, consultants, policy makers, managers, grant writers, and trainers. The latter are individuals who actualize restorative justice on the ground. RJPoints are the unsung community members who do restorative justice because it is the right thing to do for those harmed by either structural or individual action. Despite differing orientations, RJPoids and RJPoints share the world stage of race, racism, and colonization—evident in the colorizing restorative justice dialogue.

Dundas aptly calls this contested space between the RJPoids and the RJPoints political. Since restorative justice concerns itself with addressing harms and undoing them, Dundas reminds us that racism and colonization are systemic harms and that undoing them requires a restorative justice movement that is morally strong. Undoing these harms confronts the political dimension of dominance and the disproportional power that People of Color and Indigenous Peoples experience in so-called democratic modern states.