What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice is an innovative approach to those involved in crime. Unlike the approach of the traditional judicial system, restorative justice acknowledges that crime affects the persons directly involved as well as the community. In the traditional justice system, crime is treated as an offense against the state; i.e., Joe Smith vs. the State of California.
helps victims, survivors, offenders, and communities to take a pro-active approach to crime and engages all parties in the healing process after a crime has been committed.
may be used to address crimes of severe violence and non-violent crimes involving juvenile offenders.
puts the victim or the victim's family first and fully acknowledges the harm caused by the offender.
facilitates the offender in taking full responsibility for his or her actions by creating a direct or indirect dialogue with the victim, the victim' family and/or the community.
A restorative justice approach has traditionally been used by indigenous communities to maintain a unified community, while holding standards of conduct and addressing harm done to its community members and the community as a whole.
Restorative justice is not a particular program but is an approach to justice. Some common restorative justice programs include: