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What is Restorative Justice?

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by

Hope Lassen

on 1 August 2013

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Transcript of What is Restorative Justice?

What is
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?
Restorative Justice is a victim focused approach to crime that says the person who is responsible for causing the harm is obligated to repair that harm.
Punitive Justice Asks:
Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm.

Those most affected by the wrongdoing (the victims and the community) should have a voice in how that harm is repaired.

The person who caused the harm has a personal responsibility to the victim(s) and the community for the harm he/she caused.
RESTORE = JUSTICE
1. What rule has been broken?
2. Who did it?
3. What Punishment
do they deserve?
Restorative Justice Asks:
1. Who has been harmed?
2. How can that harm be repaired?
3. Who's obligation is it to repair that harm?
RESTORATIVE PRACTICES
Victim-Offender Conferences
Family Group Conferences (FGC)
Circles
Ritual
A Talking Piece is passed around
An object is placed in circle center
2. Only the person holding the talking piece may speak, everyone else must listen
Guidelines
4. Speak from the heart
1. Everyone's voice is equal and everyone's experiences are respected
Asks meaningful questions
Circle Keeper
Circle keeper opens & closes the circle
3. You may pass the talking piece if you do not want to share
Sets and maintains a calm respectful tone
Maintains guidelines & keeps the space safe
Opens and closes the circle
Everyone sits in a circle
“Passivity does not promote accountability.”
-- Barb Towes
FGC Characteristics
7 Goals of FGC
1. DIVERSION - Keeps young people out of courts and prevents them from being labeled as "offenders"
1.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY - Youth are encouraged to accept responsibility for their actions
3. VICTIM INVOLVEMENT - Victims are invited to participate and their needs are always considered
4. FAMILY EMPOWERMENT - Process promotes family involvement as a support network
5. CONSENSUS DECISION MAKING - Outcomes
must be agreed upon by all participants
6. CULTURAL APPROPRIATENESS - Process and outcome should adapted to cultural needs of the participants
7. DUE PROCESS - Youth advocates are appointed to make sure the young person's rights are respected
What does Restorative Justice look like?
Talking Circle
Sentencing Circle
Peace Circle
RJ Requirements
The person harmed has the opportunity to participate and their needs are considered
No one should ever be forced to participate
Voluntary
Victim-centered
Respect
All participants and their experiences must be respected
Accountability
Those who have committed wrong doing must accept responsibility for their actions and the harm they caused
Restorative
The focus is on healing and repairing the harm
Community-focused
The community is a part of the process and the solution
Steps in a FGC
1. Opening
2. Information sharing
3. Family deliberations
4. Reaching an agreement
5. Closing
A structured face-to-face meeting
between offender, victim(s) and a facilitator.

It is a guided dialogue, to empower victims and
to hold the offenders accountable for their actions.
The FGC brings together the person harmed, the youth who caused the harm and the family and friends of both for a facilitated discussion about how each was affected by the offense and how that harm may be repaired.

The outcome of the conference is an agreement created and signed by all of the participants which outlines their commitments and the obligations required of the offender.
(cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr
Referral to V/O Conference Program
Contact
the Offender
Meet w/
Victim
Contact the
Victim
Victim Prep
Case/
Agreement Follow Up
Meet w/ Offender
V & O Joint Meeting
Follow Up
with
V & O
Mediator
Offender Prep
VICTIM OFFENDER CONFERENCING
V/O DIALOGUE
V/O MEDIATION
Person Harmed
Community
Person caused
Harm

The person who committed the wrongdoing is held DIRECTLY accountable to those he/she harmed
&
Those who were harmed have a voice in how that harm is repaired
The End
Full transcript