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What Is a Restorative Justice Conference and How Does It Work? by Andrew Stratton





What Is a Restorative Justice Conference and How Does It Work? by
Article Posted: 11/06/2013
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What Is a Restorative Justice Conference and How Does It Work?


 
Education
A restorative justice conference offers victims and offenders the opportunity to sit down and speak openly with one another about the crime that occurred and discuss what is to take place as a result of it. This form of justice is also sometimes referred to as reparative justice. It is an approach that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the community at large. It does not focus its efforts upon punishing the offender or satisfying any legal principles in any abstract manner.

The victims are encouraged to take active roles in the case of a restorative justice conference. At the same time, the offenders are encouraged to show responsibility for the actions that were taken when the crime took place. For example, they are encouraged to do their part to repair the damage that was done, such as admitting fault and apologizing to the victims, returning stolen money or other property, or by performing community service.

Everyone involved in this process concentrates their efforts on their own personal needs in the situation. This set of circumstance also provides help for the guilty party in preventing future offenses from taking place. The concept of reparative justice is based upon a theory that looks at crime and wrongdoing in society as offenses against a person or a community, as opposed to crimes committed against the state at large. Dialogue between the two parties involved in the incident is believed to offer the highest rates of both accountability for the offender and satisfaction for the victim.

When both sides meet and sit down to speak to each other at a restorative justice conference, what takes place there is confidential. The confidentiality factor allows both victims and offenders to speak openly and honestly about the circumstances that took place.

If you have been impacted by a crime and would like to be able to meet with the offender one on one, you can explore the possibility of having a restorative justice conference, which will help you to begin the healing process by allowing you the opportunity to confront the person responsible for your loss and pain. To make this happen, get in touch with a police victim liaison officer (VLO). Ask the VLO to speak with the manager of the offender or the probation officer of the responsible party to begin the process.

If you wish to have a meeting with the offender, you need to know that there is no guarantee that it will take place. Neither side can be forced into participating in a restorative justice conference. All you can do is put in the request and hope that the other party will agree to it. There are instances where it is felt that the offender should not participate because they have not shown remorse for their behavior. If this happens to you, you can always request a meeting with the individual at a later date and hope that it will be granted.

Would you like to set up a restorative justice conference? Click here to learn more: http://www.iirp.edu.

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