Restorative Justice

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Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community. This contrasts to more punitive approaches where the main aim is to punish the offender, or satisfy abstract legal principles. Denise Curtis, summarising the difference with the law-based system favoured by nation states says that “restorative justice is a different approach to crime. . . . Our current justice system asks: What law was broken? Who broke it? and How should they be punished? Restorative justice asks: Who has been harmed? What needs have arisen because of the harm? and Whose responsibility is it to make things as right as they can?”[1]

Effectiveness in US schools

Research has indicated that Restorative Justice is effective at reducing violence (in various instances by 75-90% percent) and in increasing graduation rates and test scores rose. This contrasts sharply with US police expectations - they "predicted chaos".[2]

Healing society

Restorative justice is only occasionally pursued on a large scale in society. Two notable recent examples have been the Truth commissions in South Africa after apartheid and in Peru after the kleptocracy of Alberto Fujimori.


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