Criminal Justice Vs Restorative Justice

1265 Words6 Pages
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…show more content…
Because the overall objective of Restorative justice is to involve all stakeholders, it requires the assumption that crimes or violations are committed against real individuals, rather than against the state. It serves as an advocate’s restitution to the victim by the offender rather than retribution by the state against the offender. Instead of continuing and escalating the cycle of violence, it tries to restore relationships and stop the violence. Victims’ respond to this as a need because it helps them feel what they want to feel most and that’s safe. Some of the most important components a victim needs and desires are to feel safe, to have support and most importantly to have a voice. Through Restorative justice victims’ are empowered to participate effectively in conversation or some sort of meditation with offenders. With this in place, it allows the victims to take hands on role in directing the type of meeting that takes place, as well as defining the responsibilities and obligations of offenders. “Offenders are likewise encouraged to participate in this exchange, to understand the harm they have caused to victims, and to take active responsibility for it. This means making efforts on their parts to set things right, to make amends for their violations, by committing to certain obligations, that…show more content…
In the victim’s story on pages 142-145, he tells of how a family friend’s sexual abuse to him shaped his life. He speaks of how he found validation and vindication through different avenues. Although many of his avenues included not telling the truth, it ultimately aided in him finding the strength to fight back and get away from his abuser. This began his healing process and may have begun the healing process for his abuser as well. One author writes “healing is crucial not just for victims, but also for offenders. Both the rehabilitation of offenders and their integration into the community are vital aspects of restorative justice. Offenders are treated respectfully and their needs are addressed. Removing them from the community, or imposing any other severe restrictions, is a last resort. It is thought that the best way to prevent re-offending is re-integration.” Processes of this nature are sometimes all the victim wants. It allows them to move forward with their lives. Not to be mistaken there is a difference between restorative justice and forgiveness. Forgiveness is sometimes just treated as an emotion per say where as the restorative justice process is used to involve all stakeholders as noted above. It allows

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