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What is Restorative Justice?

“Is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.” -Howard Zehr, Zher Institute for Restorative Justice

Three assumptions underlie Restorative Justice

  • When people and relationships are harmed, needs are created
  • The needs created by harms lead to obligations
  • The obligations are to heal and “put right” the harms; this is a just response.

 

Three principles of Restorative Justice reflect these assumptions: A just response…

  • Acknowledges and repairs the harm caused by, and revealed by, wrongdoing (restoration);
  • Encourages appropriate responsibility for addressing needs and repairing the harm (accountability);
  • Involves those impacted, including the community, in the resolution (engagement).