Making space for restorative justice

Restorative justice, … is a huge component of this new vision of justice. As a practice that facilitates conversation, restorative justice allows a crime survivor to explain what they need to make things right, and then holds the guilty party accountable for doing it. It’s a victim-centered process in which everyone is treated with dignity and no one ends up incarcerated.So instead of wading through a court system that may never supply victims with a sense of closure, they gain understanding that allows them to forgive and begin to move forward. And instead of enduring a harsh punishment that’s disconnected from the actual reason the harm occurred, the person who’s responsible makes amends in whatever way is necessary—and in the process change a bit themselves. Restorative justice has been gaining acceptance in youth settings, particularly as an alternative to traditional school discipline. But many advocates think it can be used much more broadly. “I think it can go all the way,” says baliga. “I think we can do all cases.” Not yet, of course; there’s a lot of capacity building that needs to happen within communities to learn how to constructively address conflict. Read article