JUST 223 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Institute For Operations Research And The Management Sciences, Retributive Justice, Restorative Justice
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Restorative Justice (adapted from Zehr 2003, https://www.unicef.org/tdad/littlebookrjpakaf.pdf)
How should societies respond to wrongdoing? When a crime occurs or an injustice is done, what needs to happen?
What does justice require?
Current Criminal Justice System asks three basic questions when a crime is committed:
What law was broken? Who did it? What punishment do they deserve?
Restorative Justice guidig uestios:
1. Who has been hurt? 2. What are their needs? 3. Whose obligations are these? 4. Why has this happened? 5. Who has
a stake in this situation? 6. What is the appropriate process to involve stakeholders in an effort to put things right and
prevent its recurrence?
Restorative Justice is an approach to problem-solving that involves these basic ideas:
• That when crime (or wrongdoing) occurs, the focus is on the harm that has been done to people and relationships
• When harm has been done, it creates obligations
• The way forward involves wrongdoers, victims and the community in efforts to heal the harm and make things right
Criminal Justice Restorative Justice
Crime is the violation of the law and the state Crime violates people and relationships
Violations create guilt Violations create obligations
Justice requires the state to determine blame (guilt) and Justice involves victims, offenders, and community
impose pain members in an effort to make things right
Focus: offenders getting what they deserve Focus: victim needs and offender responsibility for
• Retributive justice theory (which informs traditional forms of criminal justice practice in the US) believes that
pain/punishment will vindicate crime/wrongdoing.
• Restorative justice theory, on the other hand, argues that what truly vindicates crime/wrongdoing is
acknowledgment of victims' harms and needs combined with an active effort to encourage offenders to take
responsibility, make right the wrongs, and address the causes of their behavior. By addressing this need for
vindication in a positive way, restorative justice has the potential to affirm both victim and offender and help
them transform their lives.
Restorative Justice can be defined geeriall as: a proess to iole, to the etet possile, those who have a
[legitimate] stake in a specific offense to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations in order to heal
ad put thigs as right as possile )ehr, 00, lik aoe.
Restorative Justice Programs are integrated into diverse kinds of settings/environments (criminal justice, schools,
workplace, religious organizations, families and other community settings0. RJ programs are characterized by four key
• Encounter: creating opportunities for victims, offenders (wrongdoers), their families and community members who
want to participate to meet to discuss the crime (or incident) and its impact on them. Note: An encounter is not always
possible and in some cases, may not be desirable or appropriate. Even in such cases, however, efforts should be made to
provide maximum exchange of information between and involvement of the stakeholders.
• Amends: expecting wrongdoers to take steps to repair the harm they have caused
• Reintegration: seeking to restore victims and offenders to wholeness, to become contributing members of society
• Inclusion: providing opportunities for stakeholders (parties with an interest or concern in a specific crime or incident)
to participate in its resolution
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