WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?
Restorative justice is a model of justice that brings those who have experienced harm, those who have harmed, and affected families and communities into processes that are intended to repair the harm and rebuild relationships, where possible and where appropriate. There are both Indigenous and western roots to restorative justice. Restorative justice in the United States can be traced back to Indigenous origins across the world. Although examples of what many have termed “restorative justice” among First Nations communities in Canada have been well documented, less has been written about equivalents in the US.
In contrast to the punitive justice system, which asks, “What law was broken? Who broke the law? How should they be punished?”, the restorative justice framework asks, “Who was harmed? What do they need? Whose obligation is it to meet those needs?” This approach also focuses on identifying who has a stake in the situation, the causes of the harm, and the appropriate process to support healing for the person/people who have been harmed.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE: CENTERING THE WISDOM, NEEDS, AND SAFETY OF SURVIVORS
In 2020, NYSCASA hosted a webinar with sujatha baliga (formerly at Impact Justice) on restorative justice and sexual violence as part of our Ending Violence Without Violence virtual training series. This webinar introduces participants to the core principles of restorative justice. Participants learn about how restorative practices can be used to address sexual violence. This session also addresses concerns and challenges to implementing restorative justice practices. Click here to access the recording from this event.
A NATIONAL PORTRAIT OF RESTORATIVE APPROACHES TO INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: PATHWAYS TO SAFETY, ACCOUNTABILITY, HEALING, AND WELL-BEING
The Center for Court Innovation recently released a report that documents how restorative approaches are currently being applied to intimate partner violence (A.K.A. domestic violence) in the United States. Through surveys and site visits at 34 programs addressing intimate partner violence and/or sexual assault through restorative, indigenous, culturally-based, or transformative approaches, the study’s findings inform a set of guiding principles and practice recommendations for the field. Read the full report here.
USING RESTORATIVE APPROACHES TO ADDRESS INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: A NEW YORK CITY BLUEPRINT
In October 2020, the Center for Court Innovation and New York City Mayor’s Office to end Domestic and Gender-Based Violence published a report that outlines pathways for developing restorative and community-based approaches to intimate partner violence. Building on years of research and community conversations—locally and nationally—the report aims to expand the knowledge of restorative practices as applied to intimate partner violence and to promote the idea of increasing the options for survivors and their families. Click here to access the report.
CONVERSATION ABOUT CRIME SURVIVORS AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE ISSUES
In 2021, the Sentencing Project and national victim/survivor advocate Anne Seymour sponsored a virtual conversation to address the critical issue of restorative justice practices both pre- and post-conviction. The goal of the conversation was to identify strategies that can more wholly address the needs of survivors, those who harm them, and the communities in which they reside. Click here to access a summary of the conversation.
- Restorative Justice in Cases of Sexual Harm — Article by Alexa Sardina and Alissa R. Ackerman in the CUNY Law Review
- Can Restorative Justice Help Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Heal? — Well + Good interview with Elizabeth Clemants, founder of Hidden Water
- A Different Path for Confronting Sexual Assault — Article by sujatha baliga in Vox
- The Road to Repair: Restorative Justice in the Aftermath of Serious Violence and Harm — Webinar with Martina Kartman and Priya Rai, hosted by the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Individual and Collective Accountability in a Restorative Framework — Webinar with Kay Pranis, hosted by Restorative Justice on the Rise
- Repairing Harm: A Better Alternative to Punishment — Blog post and podcast interview with Brad Weinstein and Nathan Maynard, authors of Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy & Responsibility Using Restorative Justice
- A Diversion Toolkit for Communities — Toolkit created by Impact Justice on how to build a pre-charge restorative justice diversion program that reduces youth criminalization while meeting the needs of people harmed
- Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice — Publications, webinars, and other resources to share knowledge about restorative justice practices and programs
- Restorative Justice on TransformHarm.org — A collection of articles, multimedia resources, and curricula about restorative justice