Restorative justice is a philosophy based on the belief that when offenders commit crime they injure the victims, the community, their families, and themselves. It supports and serves the victim as central to the justice process and elevates the role of crime victims and communities in the process of holding offenders accountable for their behavior, while offering offenders the opportunity to directly make amends to the people and community they violated.
It is a philosophy of healing, reintegration and community building. It puts the "community" back into corrections. It challenges us to create partnerships to get ahead of crime.
Practices which incorporate restorative principles help repair the harm to relationships caused by acts of harm/wrongdoing. They are focused on building offender accountability to the victim and community to repair harm (to the extent possible), and develop offender competencies targeted at issues underpinning their criminal behavior so they learn something in the process that works to prevent another victimization. Examples of practices that build upon restorative principles are: Family Group Conferencing; Family Team Meetings; Circles of Support and Accountability; Talking Stick Circle; Accountability Boards; Restorative Community Service (statistics recorded separately); Victim Offender Mediation; Victim Impact class; Adult Mentoring Program.