Restorative justice is a modern term for an ancient idea. It attempts to describe a justice rooted in human dignity, healing, and interconnectedness. With origins in aboriginal teachings, faith traditions, and straightforward common sense, restorative justice seeks answers to a fundamentally different set of questions than those we have so often adopted in response to harm:
Who has been harmed?
What are their needs?
Whose obligations are these?
How do we collectively work to put things right?
What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative practices, which evolved from restorative justice, is a new field of study that has the potential to positively influence human behavior and strengthen civil society around the world. Restorative practices builds healthy communities, increases social capital, reduces the impact of crime, decreases antisocial behavior, repairs harm and restores relationships.
Some notable areas of influence are:
U.S. school-to-prison pipeline
The fundamental premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.
Restorative Practices are based upon principles and processes that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and restoring relationships when harm has occurred.