Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is a different way of responding to crime and/or harm in families, communities, and especially in the criminal justice system. Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by unjust behavior through inclusive and cooperative practices that involve the victim, offender, and community members. Several models of restorative justice are practiced in MRJC programs including victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, circles, restorative dialogue, and classroom conferencing.

Restorative Justice vs. Courtroom Justice

Courtroom Justice
• often fosters a win/lose outcome, which can increase hostility
• separates parties and restricts communication
• focuses on paying a debt by punishment.

Restorative Justice
• fosters a win/win outcome
• allows parties to meet and communicate
• repairs the harm done by making amends
• places the emphasis on victim healing rather than defendant punishment
• promotes a restoration of losses to the victim
• looks toward the future
• promotes healing in a safer, more connected community
Traditional Criminal Justice System
Restorative Justice
What laws have been broken?
What harm was done and to whom?
Who did it?
What are their needs?
What punishment is deserved?
Whose obligation are those needs?
How can the harm be repaired?
Restorative Justice In The Community

Restorative Justice in the Community

Restorative Justice can also be applied to many situations outside criminal justice. Restorative Justice is simply a way to heal the harm done in a relationship, whether the relationship is a single victim and a single offender or a community and its elected representatives. Restorative Justice can apply to restoring resources, removing barriers, or providing reparations to heal the harm done to a marginalized population or community. Restorative Justice emphasizes healing as well as accountability on the behalf of the defendant, and therefore the process can hold people and groups in power accountable for repairing and healing the harm done to communities and marginalized people, while also recognizing the ability of wrong-doers to take responsibility and make personal change.
Restorative Justice Benefits

Benefits of Restorative Justice

Restorative justice processes are inherently trauma-informed, as all parties are empowered to self-advocate; recognize historical, situational, or relational factors of the harm; and build skills for improved communication, healthy relationships, and social-emotional resilience. A wrong-doer in the Restorative Justice process has the opportunity to learn the full impact of their actions, to take direct responsibility for their actions, and to be a part of creating a plan for making amends to the person or persons harmed. A victim in this process has the opportunity to speak and be heard, and to advocate for their own specific needs to be met, rather than prescribed solutions. Restorative Justice helps both parties move forward, repairs the harm, rebuilds (or appropriately dissolves) relationships, and also humanizes participants beyond their “labels.” These benefits lead to a safer and more connected community, and create resiliency and protective factors among residents.

Mediation & Restorative Justice Center, Inc.

133 N. Water Street, Suite B
Boone, NC 28607

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Mediation Services to the Western North Carolina communities of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey counties..
About MRJC
Providing Mediation and Restorative Justice Services within the Western North Carolina Communities of Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey Counties.
Mediation & Restorative Justice Center, Inc.
133 N. Water Street, Suite B
Boone, NC 28607
We are looking to donors like you to help us provide these life-changing services. Every donation, no matter how small, helps. Thank you for supporting MRJC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.