What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is about meeting the needs of those who have been most impacted by an incident or crime – coming to understand why the act happened and the underlying needs of all parties involved.

High accountability and high support holds offenders accountable for the their behavior, but provides them with the support they need to move forward in a positive way – as contributing members of a community.

“The role of justice, as portrayed by Lady Justice’s scales, is to bring back balance, to make things right again. Punishment and the warehousing of human beings in prisons destroys vast amounts of human potential.

By contrast, restorative justice meets the needs of everyone involved in the most humane ways possible – those who commit crimes, and those who suffer from them. In so doing, it brings humanity back into the justice system. It converts a limited worldview based around isolation and individualism into a much more positive vision that is rooted in honesty, accountability, and the visible connection of causes with effects. And it works in concrete terms by cutting recidivism and costs. Most important of all, it nurtures new relationships and a strong sense of human unity.

In this sense, the root power of restorative justice is love expressed in action.”

– “Six boys, one cop, and the road to restorative justice” by Molly Rowan Leach