Restorative Justice Practices In The Criminal Justice System

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The criminal justice system is made up of several different aspects that help operate it as smoothly as possible. A relatively new and promising feature of the criminal justice is restorative justice. Restorative justice looks at rehabilitating offenders and reconciling them with their victims and the families. The practices found in restorative justice differ from the adversarial system; they include victim-offender mediation, circle sentencing and restitution to the victims. This paper will discuss how restorative justice practices work and the positive outcomes that follow a restorative justice framework. Restorative justice offers a healthier outcome for both victims and offenders and suggests that a more retributive justice system does…show more content…
Restorative justice practices aim to rehabilitate the offender and repair the damages that were done to the victims and the community. A component of restorative justice system is victim-offender mediation. Victim-offender mediation comprises of “a mediator, who is a neutral third party, the offender and the victim are able to resolve the conflict and consequences cause by the offence and, ultimately, to understand each other” (Griffiths, 2011, p.310). Through meeting with the victims of the crime, the criminal justice system reduces the chances of secondary victimization, victims feeling mistreated by the criminal justice system (Orth, 2002 p.314). Victim-offender mediation hopes to reduce the likelihood of secondary victimization by incorporating the victim’s thoughts and feelings into…show more content…
Contrary to the adversarial system, circle sentencing surrounds the offender in a circular position, however, still containing lawyers, police, victim and offender’s families, and community residents (Griffiths, 2011, p.311). A prerequisite of circle sentencing is to have the offender plea guilty and take responsibility of his crimes. This then allows the victims and community to work together to come up with a fair punishment for the offender. Conversely, the judge does not need to allow the punishment decided by the victims and community. Unlike the adversarial system, circle sentencing allows the victim to participate fully and give more than a victim impact statement (Lilles, 164, 2001). As noted above, this also helps reduce secondary victimization, which is prominent in the adversarial system. Furthermore, involving the community is a large part of circle sentencing. When a crime is committed it affects the community as a whole. The community may show signs of resistance when the offender is released back into the community. Through involving the community in the sentencing, it can help repair damages and assist in the reintegration process after
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