Restorative justice is a reform being used by the state – but it can be used by peer groups
Restorative justice is a concept that emphasizes that -
a) any appropriate response to an injury must include repairing the injury
b) all participants in the injury are central to determining and enacting the repair
c) process is as significant as outcome
Meetings between the injured, their injurers, and members of the affected community are important parts of the process. The following three methods are hallmarks of restorative justice. Each requires that the injurer admit responsibility for the offence. Each is limited to parties who volunteer to participate.
-Injured/injurer mediation - This is a process that provides an interested injured the opportunity to meet the injurer in a safe and structured setting, engaging in a discussion of the crime with the assistance of a trained mediator. The goals of injured-injurer mediation include: permitting the injured to meet their injurers on a voluntary basis, encouraging the injurer to learn about the crime's impact and to take responsibility for the resulting harm, and providing injured and injurer the opportunity to develop a plan that addresses the harm.
-Family or Community Group Conferencing - This process brings together the injured, injurer, and family, friends and key supporters of both in deciding how to address the aftermath of the injury. The goals of conferencing include: giving the injured an opportunity to be directly involved in responding, increasing the injurer's awareness of the impact of his or her behavior and providing an opportunity to take responsibility for it, engaging the injurers' support system for making amends and shaping the injurer's future behavior, and allowing the injurer and the injured to connect to key community support.
Conferencing was adapted from Maori traditional practices in New Zealand.
-Peacemaking or Sentencing Circles - This is a process designed to develop consensus (among community members, those injured, injured supporters, injurers, and injurer supporters) on an appropriate plan that addresses the concerns of all interested parties. The goals of circles include: promoting healing of all affected parties, giving the injurer the opportunity to make amends, giving the injured, injurers, family members and communities a voice and shared responsibility in finding constructive resolutions, addressing underlying causes of problematic behavior, and building a sense of community around shared community values.
Circles were adapted from certain Indian traditional practices, and are being used throughout North America.
Restitution and community service are the keys to RJ solutions.