PRINCIPLES OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Restorative justice principles call for a response to crime which recognizes that:
- Crime is a violation of people and relationships.
- Crime creates harms, needs, and obligations. The victim(s) and community have been harmed and now have certain needs. Offenders have a direct obligation to victims and the community to address those harms and meet those needs. Offender accountability is seen as “making right” by addressing the harms done. The community has an obligation to support victims in their healing and to support offenders in meeting their obligations.
- An effective justice process should meaningfully include the parties most affected by the crime, the victim, the offender, and the community. All are given a voice to express their needs as they see them.
- Crime is a tear in the fabric of community. Justice should seek to repair that tear and rebuild healthy relationships and communities. Healthy communities produce less crime and wrongdoing.
For a short 10-minute documentary about one restorative justice process,
victim-offender dialogue, see this popular You Tube video called
"The Woolf Within."