What is restorative justice?
Restorative justice is a reparative approach to dispute resolution that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders. This process often involves families and the community when a crime or other offense has been committed that has had an impact not only on an individual but others. That is, instead of relying on legal principles or punishing the offender, this process contemplates the needs of those who have been aggrieved and others who have been effected.
In this process victims and others have a voice to express the impact of the offenders’ actions. Furthermore, offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions. This may be by apologizing, returning stolen money, working for the community or otherwise repairing the harm they caused. Restorative justice is also meant to help offenders avoid future wrongdoing.