Conflict is inevitable, whether it is between individuals, countries, and anyone in between. Conflict typically occurs when there are differing needs, and usually involves a breakdown in communication. Parties often do not know how to get their needs met without disregarding the needs of others. This frequently creates a win-lose scenario. Restorative practices offer a peaceable means to resolve the impasse. Without peaceable processes, conflicts cause harm, both emotional and physical. Restorative practices can help those harmed by others’ actions. Restorative practices encourage those who have caused harm to acknowledge the impact of what they have done, and gives those harmed the opportunity to have their loss acknowledged our loud and amends made.
What can the Restorative Justice (RJ) process offer the “victim”?
- The opportunity to explain the impact of what happened. - An acknowledgement of the harm caused. - Peace of mind about the future. - Sometimes an apology/reparation/recompense is agreed upon.
What can the Restorative Justice (RJ) process offer the “offender”?
- The opportunity to explain what happened. - The opportunity to try to put right any harm caused. - Re-integration into the community.
What can Restorative Justice (RJ) offer the “community”
(including the “victim” and “offender”)?
- The opportunity to empower all of its members with an equal voice. - The opportunity to reevaluate how institutions affect people
differently and what can be done about it.
- The opportunity to prevent future harm, thus making the community potentially safer, healthier, and happier - The opportunity to model justice as distinct from vengeance.