What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice, like Retributive Justice, denounces criminal behavior. However, Restorative Justice sees crime as a breakdown of society and human relationships and focuses on repairing the harm done to all affected parties: those who have been harmed, those who have caused harm, and the broader society. Goals include, to the extent possible, restoring emotional well-being and material losses by providing opportunities for dialogue, negotiation, and problem solving, leading to reconciliation and enhancing community safety.

The Restorative Justice process expects participants who have caused harm to:

  1. Acknowledge wrongdoing and take full responsibility for their actions
  2. Make restitution for damage to those who have been harmed
  3. Make reparation for damage to the community, as appropriate

The Restorative Justice process encourages those parties who have directly experienced harm to:

  1. Reflect on the ways they have been harmed
  2. Consider what the party who has caused harmed might do to repair the specific situation
  3. Engage in conversation and problem-solving with the person who caused harm

The Restorative Justice process expects representatives of the community that has been indirectly harmed to:

  1. Reflect on the ways the community has been harmed
  2. Consider what the party who has caused harm might do to repair harms to the broader community
  3. Pledge to support:
    1. The party causing harm in their personal growth, 
    2. The party directly harmed in their repair, and
    3. The indirectly affected community in its restoration