Offenders need to be held meaningfully accountable, given opportunities to develop new skills, supported for integration into the community, including developing and enhancing their social competencies, and for some - at least temporarily incarcerated. Meaningful accountability directly addresses the resulting harms of their actions, encourages empathy and responsibility, and works to motivate them to be positive, contributing citizens in their community.
Crime victim's individual and specific interests need to be valued and responded to. Often those interests include: providing information on the steps being taken to address the harm done to them; eliciting and acknowledging how they were harmed and subsequently impacted; and encouraging their voice and participation in determining what steps are necessary to address the harmful impacts of the youth's actions.
Finally, communities need to have their voices heard as crime victims and empowered to share in the responsibility for the welfare of its members (including victims and offenders) while ensuring that the necessary resources, skills, and attention is given to develop safe and thriving communities. Community members need to feel safe in their community and have a critical role in working with the system to establish an environment in which safety emerges.
A restorative approach to crime addresses all of these fundamental goals. Youth offenders are held meaningfully accountable, crime victims are heard and empowered, and communities are engaged both as stakeholders that have been negatively impacted and as advocates to make things right for the crime victim, offender and community.
If you have more questions about Restorative Justice, please Contact Us, and ask for the Restorative Justice Coordinator.