While the traditional justice system looks to punish “offenders” by asking:
- What laws have been broken?
- Who did it?
- What do they deserve?
Restorative justice looks at the needs created by the harmful offense and asks:
- Who has been harmed?
- What are their needs?
- Whose obligations are these?
Restorative justice contends that harm to one member of the community is harm against the whole. Restorative Community Conferences provide a space for the harm to be addressed in full as the responsible youth apologizes for their action and accepts responsibility for repairing the harm done to the victim, their community, their family, and themselves.
Restorative Justice: A philosophical framework, or way of being, that encourages individuals to come together for the purpose of strengthening and healing communities.
Restorative Community Conference: A restorative process that brings community members together to support healing by addressing the harms, needs, and obligations resulting from an offense to one or more members of the community. Restorative Community Conferences are confidential.
Responsible Youth: Young person responsible for the harm.
Person Harmed: Used interchangeably with ‘victim.’
To see a visual with our restorative framework, click here.