Over the past few years, I have heard the term “restorative justice” but never quite understood what it encompassed. Recently, I was directed to a concise explanation; an easy to read 65 page book entitled The Little Book of Restorative Justice by Howard Zehr (Good Books 2002). ( The Little Book of Restorative Justice ) It is the “Cliff Notes” of this philosophy. (Id. at p. 5.) While I do not pretend to be an expert after reading this Cliff Notes version, I want to share my thoughts with you.
The author emphasizes that “restorative justice” is not about forgiveness or reconciliation nor is it mediation nor is it designed to reduce recidivism. It is neither an alterative to prison nor replaces our legal system. (Id. at pp 8-13).
Rather, it is a philosophy that emphasizes “needs and roles”, focusing on harms, obligations and “putting right” the wrong. It is “. . .based upon an old, common sense understanding of wrongdoing:”
*”Crime is a violation of people and of interpersonal relationships.”
*”Violations create obligations.”
*”The central obligation is to put right the wrongs.” (Id. at p. 19).
In short, it is about relationships. We are all interconnected so that a crime:
“. . . is a wound in the community, a tear in the web of relationships. Crime represents damaged relationships. . . .
Do you like what you read?
If you would like to receive this blog automatically by e mail each week, please click on one of the following plugins/services:
and for the URL, type in my blog post address: http://www.pgpmediation.com/feed/ and then type in your e mail address and click "submit".
Copyright 2021 Phyllis G. Pollack and www.pgpmediation.com, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Phyllis G. Pollack and www.pgpmediation.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.