Restorative justice is a relatively new practice that is utilized in a variety of fields. It is a movement that acknowledges the effect that crime has on communities, families, and individuals. Rather than deliver punishment that can be harmful to the people victimized by an incident, this movement insists that the people involved should be able to participate in the repair process. The process allows the victim and the offender, as well as other people who were affected by a crime within the community to be involved by having the opportunity to respond. |
The restorative justice theory emphasizes that the harm caused by criminal actions should be repaired through cooperative processes and involvement. Practices involved will respond by identifying the harmful actions caused by a crime and taking steps to repair the harm caused. The main idea behind the movement is to transform the relationship between community members who are affected by crime and the governments that respond to these activities.
One of the guiding principles of restorative justice includes working to help people who have been injured, including the people who were directly involved, by the crime. Another guiding principle is that the government's role is to preserve public order, while it is the community members' role to build peace and maintain it. When parties do not want to participate in face-to-face meetings, other approaches may be taken in order to gain work towards the healing process. Other ways of addressing the issues include addressing the accountability of the offender through community service and other measures.
The emphasis of restorative justice is on repairing any harm caused by criminal behavior. This method allows offenders and victims to cooperatively work together to address the problem, working to transform relationships and communities. This theory is different from modern justice in a number of ways. It recognizes the comprehensive outcomes of crimes, rather than focusing on the fact that crimes are acts of breaking the law alone. It also brings communities members together, allowing many people in the community to be directly involved, rather than solely relying on government entities to handle the process. It measures success through how much harm that was caused by the crime has been repaired.
Reparation can be found through a number of approaches. The offender can offer an apology by acknowledging the act and its effects. Restitution through a sum of money can also be a way of repairing the harm. Fundamentally, a change in behavior is what this theory works towards. By changing the environment of the offender and giving rewards for positive change, this method can work to get to the source of the problem.
For more information regarding restorative justice programs, seek information at http://www.iirp.edu.
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