Restorative Justice World

Connecting the World of Restorative & Community Justice

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What is restorative justice?

Restorative Justice is an approach to crime and justice which seeks to heal and restore rather than punish and degrade.   Communities, victims and offenders are brought together to discover what caused the offenses, find ways to repair the harm and transform offenders.  Transformation of those who commit crimes is accomplished through positive means such as dialogue with victims and the community.   The person who committed the crime learns how the offense harmed another human being and the community.  Offenders are encouraged to see themselves as people with talents and potential rather than evil or worthless.   “Criminals” gain life skills to enable them to rejoin their communities as productive citizens. 

 Restorative Justice seeks to help victims, offenders, neighborhoods and communities.

 Restorative Justice is a positive approach to crime prevention.   Offenders who finish school, receive mental health treatment, gain job skills, reconcile with their families, build positive peer relationships, quit gang involvement,  recover from drug or alcohol addiction and live in healthy neighborhoods are far less likely to ever commit future crimes.

              Restorative Justice is expressed in various forms.  Here are some examples:

              * Victim-Offender Conferencing:

Mark S.Umbreit, University of Minnesota, Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking

Victim Offender Mediation Association

Victim Offender Reconciliation Program

* Community Justice Boards or similar programs in which volunteers meet with offenders and their families to offer assistance and to help the offender to learn accountability in a positive manner.

* Problem solving, specialty, or therapeutic courts such as Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts,  Community Courts, Domestic Violence Courts,  DUI Courts, Veterans’ Courts, and more.    Financial restitution for victims may be addressed through Restitution Courts which monitor sentenced offenders to ensure payment of restitution.  (This would be an example of a problem solving or specialty court, rather than a therapeutic court.)


National Association of Drug Court Professionals

National Drug Court Institute.

Center for Court Innovation

BJA Mental Health Courts Program

Midtown Community Court

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