What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime and conflict. It places decisions in the hands of those who have been most affected by a wrongdoing, and gives equal concern to the victim, the offender, and the surrounding community. Restorative responses to crime and conflict, such as peace-making circles, are designed to repair the harm, heal broken relationships, and address the underlying reasons for the offense.
Restorative justice emphasizes the importance of both individual accountability and collective accountability. Individuals are responsible for choices they make resulting in harm to others, but collectives at the neighborhood, city, county, state and national level are responsible for social conditions which increase the likelihood of crime. Crime and conflict generate opportunities to build community and increase grassroots power when restorative practices are employed.