Restorative Justice I have a strong passion for the topic I am about to speak on. As a former correctional officer working with both juveniles and adult offenders, I could see very little difference in their thought patterns. Prisons and detention facilities are supposed to act as a deterrent to criminal activity. I mean being unpleasant, potential offenders are suppose to be afraid of going to prisons. However, I found out that it doesn’t work that way. The criminal mind works a lot different than the common man. Criminals enjoy the excitement and risks. They do not anticipate capture; they instead focus on what they want. As a correctional officer working in a juvenile detention center I would always be amazed at the attitude of a new offender coming in. The offender would come in and it would be like a family reunion was going on. High fives, shouting of nicknames all this because many of their friends would be there. With no structured program going on for the youth, within weeks sometimes months, the same youth would return coming back worse than before. I began thinking, if you want to change the man, then you must first change his mind.
Restorative Justice involves creating a dialogue between the victim, the offender, and the community to repair the harm caused by the crime. Together these parties determine the punishment and restitution. This method supports the victims and allows them to be part of the justice process, increases offender awareness of how their actions affect others, and makes certain that the offenders get the education or treatment they need to avoid further criminal activity (Anderson, 1999). As a correctional officer, I noticed that imprisonment often did