Q. What is Restorative Justice?

There are lots of definitions of restorative justice. Restorative Justice is not a program, but rather a way of thinking about and dealing with crime. Restorative Justice seeks to balance the concerns of the victim and the community with the need to reintegrate the offender into society. It seeks to assist the recovery of the victim and enable all parties with a stake in the justice process to participate fruitfully in it.

Q. How does it work?

Restorative Justice methods involve:

  • Consulting with both victims and offenders about what has happened and about its implications for the future

  • Involving relevant members of the community in helping victims to recover and offenders to become rehabilitated

  • investigating the reasons for particular offences and taking active steps to address them, thereby minimizing the risk of them being repeated

  • being flexible, so that measures can be adjusted to circumstances and "assembly-line justice" is avoided

  • all agencies working together to the common aims of restoring victims and offenders to a supportive community

Q. What are the benefits of restorative justice?

  • It is close to the individuals involved, giving them a voice and insight into what is happening

  • It enables victims to find a satisfactory resolution

  • It involves the community, providing an inclusive and supportive framework for crime prevention and rehabilitation

  • It is demanding of offenders, expecting them to play an active part in making up for their misbehavior, and making them responsible for thinking about how they can stay out of trouble in the future

Q. What does it offer for those involved?

  • To Victims: compensation, healing, having a voice and an opportunity of being part of the process

  • To Communities: a voice in setting crime priorities, resources and skills for preventing crime and trouble, and understanding why crime happens

  • To Offenders: a realization of the consequences of their actions, providing a chance to make reparation and an avenue back into the community

  • To Criminal Justice Agencies: opportunities for community support and confidence, ensuring that their efforts are not negated by one agency working to different objectives from another, and hope of being effective in resolving the harm of crime and reducing its likelihood in the future


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Last updated: 3/21/2013 12:41:43 PM