Benefits of a Restorative Justice Approach

Chief Marlon Washington, Probation

Benefits of a restorative justice approach

Restorative Justice Traditional Criminal Justice System
Crime causes harm Crime is law breaking
Offender Accountability means taking
steps toward repairing that harm
Offender Accountability means accepting the infliction of harm
The people most affected by the crime
should be able to participate in its resolution
The two main parties are the State and the Defendant
To achieve community safety it is more important
to build community peace than to increase order or punishment
To achieve public safety it is most important to increase order

Opportunities for persons who have been harmed:

- To be heard and have questions answered.
- To obtain a mutual comprehension of what happened.
- To determine their own plan on how to address their specific needs.
- To discuss and explore different forms of reparation such as restitution, exchange of information through a facilitator, written/verbal apology, community services/project, meeting face-to-face, video messages, etc.
- To heal from the harm caused in order to move forward in a more positive way.

Opportunities for persons who have committed an offense:

- To understand the crime and how it had an impact on the victim and others.
- To develop an understanding of the causes and consequences of their behavior.
- To make amends with the victim directly and explore ways on how to take responsibility for their actions in a meaningful way.
- To be accountable and reconnect with their community in a healthier way.

Opportunities for the community:

- For an enhancement of public safety and well-being. - To provide a safe space for all the parties impacted by the crime so they can have a dialogue and have a choice on how the harm caused will be repaired.
- To partner with the justice system and reduce court costs.
- To transform the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime.