What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice is a growing movement within educational and criminal justice systems around the world. It is an approach to justice that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with harmed parties (victims) and the community at large. When those that have been harmed, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to repair harm, the results can be transformational.
Those harmed take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions "to repair the harm they've done." This approach fosters dialogue between the harmed party (victim) and offender and it shows the highest rates of satisfaction and offender accountability. The process also holds the potential for those harmed and their families to have a direct voice in determining just outcomes and reestablishes the role of the community in supporting all parties affected by crime.
Learn more about restorative justice from nationally renowned trainer and facilitator for peacemaking, Kay Pranis, in An Internal Compass.
Pranis, from 1994 - 2003, served as the Restorative Justice Planner for the Minnesota Departments of Corrections. She has travelled across the world speaking with a diverse range of communities to teach others about peacemaking circles and restorative justice. She is co-author of Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community and the author of Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking.