Using restorative justice, crime victims are offered more opportunities to regain personal power.
Often victims feel left out of their own cases except possibly as witnesses. In any system victims have needs. They need chances to speak their feelings, experience justice, and have the power restored to them that has been taken away by the offender. Restorative justice allows for victim involvement in determining how those needs can best be met.
Under the existing criminal justice system that concentrates on legal issues and metting out or avoiding punishment, offenders are not required to realize the harm they have done. They often are not required to do anything to right the wrong they have committed.
A restorative justice approach holds offenders directly accountable to victims, confronts them with the personal harm they have caused, and requires that they make real amends to the victim and the community.
In the existing system, offenders are in a passive role. In a restorative justice system, they become active participants in reparation.
The role of the community also changes dramatically under restorative justice. The entire community bears some responsibility for all its members, including the victim and the offender.
The community is responsible for supporting and assisting victims, holding offenders accountable, and ensuring opportunities for offenders to make amends. Communities are also responsible for addressing the underlying causes of crime to reduce victimization in the future.
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philosophy of restorative justice
Restorative Justice acknowledges that when a person does harm, it affects the people they hurt, the community and themselves. It requires that we address victims’ harms and needs, hold offenders accountable to put right those harms and involve victims, offenders and communities in this process.
Restorative Justice offers real solutions that provide support and answers for victims, a clear plan to repair the harm that has been done and requires offenders to take responsiblity for their actions. Restorative Justice emphasizes the way in which crimes affect not only people, but also the community in which they live.