restorative justice | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

Restorative justice is a process of resolving conflicts between offenders, victims, and their communities by promoting accountability, repairing harm, and restoring relationships.

Restorative justice is a framework for addressing the harm caused by crime that emphasizes healing and repairing relationships between those affected by the crime, including the offender, victim, and community. This approach differs from traditional criminal justice, which focuses primarily on the punishment of the offender.

Restorative justice is based on the principles of inclusion, participation, and mutual agreement. It involves a facilitated dialogue between the offender and the victim, where the offender takes responsibility for their actions and makes efforts to repair the harm caused. The victim is given a voice in the process, and both parties are encouraged to come to an agreement about how to move forward.

The goal of restorative justice is to promote accountability and understanding while also providing an opportunity for healing and restoration. This approach recognizes that crime is not just a violation of the law but also harm done to individuals and communities. By addressing the harm and repairing relationships, restorative justice can help prevent future crime and create stronger, more resilient communities.

Restorative justice programs can take many forms, including victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, and community reparative boards. These programs are often implemented in conjunction with traditional criminal justice proceedings, such as probation or parole.

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Last Modified: 03/14/2023


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