Restorative Justice Essay example

651 Words Oct 12th, 2005 3 Pages
Various theories have been advanced to justify or explain the goals of criminal punishment, including retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. Sometimes punishment advances more than these goals. At other times, a punishment may promote one goal and conflict with another. Justice means attaining a position in which the conduct or actions of individuals is considered to be fair, right and appropriate for a given circumstance. Restorative justice is a theory within the criminal justice system that focuses on crimes against an individual or community and not the state. Restorative justice recognizes the emotional effect of crime on the victim, the offender, and the community. The victim plays a …show more content…
Community restorative boards usually include trained individuals who conduct the face-to-face meetings between the victim and offender as ordered by the courts. During the meeting, the nature of the offense is discussed and a set of sanctions are proposed with the offender until an action is agreed upon and a reasonable time period that reparations can be made. Usually the offender is required to keep a log of the progress being made as evidence that they are fulfilling their requirements as part of the agreement. Upon completion, the board may submit a report to the courts at which point the board's involvement with the defendant will expire. The last type of restorative justice is sentencing circles. This type usually involves the traditional circle ritual, in which the victim, the offender, supporters of both, the judge, court personnel, attorneys, police officers, members of the community, and whoever else may be involved in the case can get together and speak their mind. They search for answers and understanding and then together try to come up with ideas to help for healing and possible deterrence from future crimes. In some programs like victim-offender mediation and family group counseling, the participants may be asked to sign statements stating that anything discussed in the meetings were strictly confidential and should not be disclosed outside of the meetings. This helps in allowing the participants to be honest and open in the communication process
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