Restorative Justice

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Various theories have been advanced to justify or explain the goals of criminal punishment, including retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. Sometimes punishment advances more than these goals. At other times, a punishment may promote one goal and conflict with another.

Justice means attaining a position in which the conduct or actions of individuals is considered to be fair, right and appropriate for a given circumstance. Restorative justice is a theory within the criminal justice system that focuses on crimes against an individual or community and not the state. Restorative justice recognizes the emotional effect of crime on the victim, the offender, and the community. The victim plays a major part in this process and usually receives some type of restitution from the offender, whether it is monetary, community service, or whatever other services they may be able to provide. In using restorative justice, the victim is able to hear from the offender, as to why they committed the crime, get any questions answered, and participate in holding the offender accountable for their actions. At the same time, the offender can explain what type of impact this has had on their life and are given the opportunity to make things right with the victim. For such crimes as property crimes or petty offense restorative justice can be used as a way to pay the victim back for damages done, but for more serious crimes, usually involving jail time, restorative justice can be used together with sentencing to help deter crime (

There are several types of restorative justice. Victim-offender mediation usually involves the victim and offender. It is a time when they can get together in the presence of a mediator and try to discuss what happened. Family group conferencing usually involve the victim, the offender, and friends and family members connected to both the victim and the offender. This is more of an...
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