“Justice is not primarily about the punishment of the perpetrator, but rather about the vindication of the victim.”
Dr. Biggar, Oxford University
Restorative Justice is an alternative way to look at the juvenile justice system. Crime is viewed as an offense against the community, which includes the victim and the offender, rather than against the state. Restorative Justice focuses on repairing the harm to victims, communities, and offenders that occurs when a crime is committed.
When approaching crime using restorative justice principles:
Victims have an active role in the justice system. They are empowered to ensure that their own needs are met and resolve the feelings toward the crime that was committed. As a result, victims receive adequate reparation and can walk away from the experience feeling satisfied that justice has been served.
Communities can enjoy a lower crime rate and safer neighborhoods. They can address their justice issues on a local level and find solutions that work for their unique circumstances. This involves a commitment to crime prevention programs and rehabilitation for the offender.
Offenders are required to accept responsibility for their crimes and must take an active role in repairing the damage their crime has created. In the process, they are exposed to crime prevention programs and come away from the system with a better understanding of the consequences of their actions and the skills to make better decisions in the future