Restorative Justice (RJ) is an innovative alternative to the punitive system, whereby people are held accountable for their behavior at the community level. The RJ process allows everyone involved in a crime or conflict to work collectively toward community-based solutions. Such community-based solutions present the potential to addresses root causes of oppositional or deviant behavior. By addressing root causes, RJ decreases the likelihood of recurrence. As such, RJ serves as a more meaningful way to handle offenses; it attempts to redefine crime as an injury to people and their relationships and turns the emphasis towards repairing those relationships.
Restorative Practices (RP) is a philosophy that grew from RJ that aims to provide school communities with safe, inclusive, and effective tools to help develop relationships within a healthy school environment. This comprehensive strategy can be used to help mold knowledgeable, responsible, and civically engaged citizens.
|Punitive System||Restorative Process|
|What law or rule was broken?||What happened?|
|Who broke the law or rule?||Who was affected? How?|
|How can we punish that person?||What can be done to repair the harm?|
|Institution determines the punishment based on laws and rules||Group collectively decides how to repair the harm|
|Focus on the past||Focus on the future|