About Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice is a philosophy that views crime as a violation of relationships and people. The aim of Restorative Justice is to identify responsibilities, meet needs, and promote healing through the involvement of people most directly impacted by harm and community members.
Restorative Justice asks…
- What happened?
- Who was harmed?
- What are their needs?
- What needs to happen in order to repair the harm?
- Who is obligated to make amends?
Justice is being done in a restorative manner when it:
- Focuses on crime’s harm rather than rules broken.
- Shows equal concern for the person who has done harm and the person who has been harmed, and involves both.
- Works toward responding to the needs of the harmed party as they see fit.
- Supports the responsible party while encouraging them to understand, accept and carry out their obligations.
- Recognizes that while the participant’s obligations may be difficult, they should not be intended as pain.
- Provides opportunities for direct or indirect dialogue between those harmed and the person who did the harm – as appropriate.
- Finds meaningful ways to involve the community and to respond to the causes of crime in the community.
- Encourages collaboration and reintegration rather than coercion and isolation for the person who did the harm.
- Pays attention to unintended consequences arising from Restorative Justice efforts.
- Respects all parties in the conflict -the harmed party,the responsible person, and justice colleagues.
Source: [Restorative Justice Signposts- Harry Mika and Howard Zeir (1998)]