Intro to Criminal Justice
1 October 2012
Restorative justice by definition in the book is “a sentencing model that builds on restitution and community participation in an attempt to make the victim feel “whole again” (Criminal Justice Today p702)”. A more simple way of defining restorative justice is that it’s a way to try to repair the damage done to all parties after a crime is committed or witnessed. Restorative justice was created because everyone suffers after a crime: the victims, offenders, and community so the point was to have less people suffering by offering rehab-like programs. Restorative justice programs enable the victim, the offender and affected members of the community to be directly involved in responding to the crime.
There are a few different programs used to implement restorative justice that can help everyone involved better cope with the crime. One method is victim-offender mediation, which means getting both of them together in with a counselor to let the victim talk about the crime, how it has affected them, and what they need to make things right. The results of these type of programs is that there is a higher rate of satisfaction between victims and offenders, less fear among victims, greater chances that the offender will complete a restitution obligation, and fewer offenders committing new offences, than among those who went through the normal court process.
Another method of restorative justice is family or community group counseling. In this method you bring everyone that is involved with the crime or has an input on the crime and talk how to address the crime now. By using this method it gives the victim a chance to feel directly involved in the response to the crime and everyone around can see the affect it has had on them. If the offender is present for this meeting then they can also take responsibility for what they did and come up with a plan for...