Restorative justice is a process that aims to repair harm and reconcile relationships between the person who was harmed, the person who caused the harm, and the community. This approach to justice has several benefits over traditional criminal justice processes, including:
Emphasises healing and restoration: Restorative justice places a strong emphasis on repairing harm and restoring relationships. This can lead to a more holistic approach to justice, which can help to improve the well-being of both the person who was harmed and the person who caused the harm.
Encourages responsibility and accountability: In restorative justice, the person who caused harm is held responsible for their actions and must take steps to make things right. This can help to promote a sense of accountability and can provide the person who caused the harm with an opportunity to learn from their actions.
Focuses on rehabilitation: Restorative justice seeks to help the person who caused harm understand the impact of their actions and to change their behaviour in a positive way. This focus on rehabilitation can help to reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Empowers the person who was harmed: In restorative justice, the person who was harmed is given a voice and an opportunity to participate in the process. This can help to empower them and give them a sense of control over the situation.
Promotes community engagement: Restorative justice often involves bringing the person who caused the harm, the person who was harmed, and members of the community together to work towards a solution. This can help to promote community engagement and can lead to a greater sense of community ownership over the justice process.
In conclusion, restorative justice is a valuable alternative to traditional criminal justice processes that offers several benefits. By emphasising healing and restoration, promoting responsibility and accountability, focusing on rehabilitation, empowering the victim, and promoting community engagement, restorative justice has the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of those involved in the justice process.