Restorative Justice Essay

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It’s difficult to determine what a victim needs after a crime.   There are so many things they seek and feel obligated to have. Most importantly they seek the truth and justice. They seek justice on so many different levels, not just from the local criminal justice system but also national criminal justice systems based on the nature of the crime.   Some victims’ wish to have an apology from the person who committed the crime, some wish to have a relationship with that person and some just wish to be left to go about their lives through acceptance of what has happened.   One of the most common ways victims’ achieve what they aspire is through what’s called Restorative Justice.     Restorative justice is defined as a broad term which encompasses a growing social movement.   In this case it is defined as “a valued-based approach to responding to wrongdoing and conflict, with a balanced focus on the person harmed, the person causing the harm, and the affected community. Restorative justice focuses on transforming wrongdoing by healing the harm, particularly to relationships, that is created by harmful behavior. The primary stakeholders in restorative justice processes are the person(s) who caused the harm (offender), the person(s) harmed (victim), and the affected community. By collectively identifying and addressing harms, needs, and obligations resulting from wrongdoing, we are able to create healing and put things right again.” (Cavanagh) Victims’ respond to this type of program, because it helps aid them in getting to an acceptance place in their lives after the crime.   So many victims’ feel cheated by the system on so many levels.   For example in the text the author tells the story of one victim who blamed himself for his mother’s death but most importantly was infuriated with the criminal justice system because it mishandled the case.   He writes on page 82, “the investigation was mishandled, and the primary suspect was my father. My father had been a
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