Restorative justice is a concept, a movement, and a modern vision of criminal justice policy that states that crime does not primarily violate legal norms but causes harm and disrupts interpersonal relationships.
Finding justice from a restorative perspective asks that we change our perspective on dealing with the consequences of crime and seek solutions that lead to compensation for the harm caused and respond to the real needs of victims, motivate offenders to take responsibility, and thus help victims, offenders, and affected communities to heal their lives affected by crime.
- focuses on the harm caused and the needs of the persons affected by the crime
- draws consequences and supports the offender in accepting responsibility
- empowers participants themselves to resolve the conflict
- supports the victim find answers to their questions
- prevents offender recidivism
- gives a greater sense of justice to all involved
- saves the criminal justice system money
Principles of restorative justice
Restorative justice represents a change in perspective of viewing effective solutions to crime, including punishment.
Restorative justice represents a way of finding justice that focuses on repairing the harm caused and accepting genuine responsibility.
Restorative justice offers solutions that create a safe space for participation, dialogue, and involvement of those affected by a crime.
Restorative justice is determined by basic principles, which include (drawn from the Council of Europe’s Recommendation Concerning Restorative Justice in Criminal Matters):
- the principle of reparation to victims
- the principle of participation (involvement) of the parties
- fair care for the needs and interests of the participants
- procedural equality
- collective, consensus-based agreement
- focusing on compensation, reintegration, and achieving mutual understanding
- avoiding dominance