Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It views crime as a violation and harming of people and relationships.
It is an approach to problem solving that is based around three basic concepts:
When crime (or wrongdoing) occurs, the focus is on the harm that has been done to people and relationships
When harm has been done, obligations and liabilities have been created
All involved parties, wrongdoers, victims and the community, should be included in the resolution process
Restorative Justice programs are characterized by four key features:
Inclusion – all affected parties are given opportunity to participate in the resolution process
Encounter – victims, wrongdoers, their families and community members who want to are given opportunities to meet to discuss the incident and its impact on them
Amends – wrongdoers are expected to take the agreed upon steps to repair the harm their actions caused Reintegration – seek to restore wholeness and relationships so that all affected parties can return to being contributing members of the community
Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to create, improve and repair relationships between people and communities. Its goal is to build healthy communities by strengthening connections and relationships between community members, improving meaningful communication, fostering shared community values, and enhance understanding and empathy.
The use of restorative practices has been shown to:
reduce crime, violence and bullying
develop effective leadership