Restorative justice is a new technique to heal the wounds of the victims

| February 14, 2018

Restorative justiceRestorative justice is a new technique to heal the wounds of the victims. It involvesconverting the offenders into lawful citizens and finally revamping the harm caused to therelationships and the community. It is not just a technique to implement some new criminaljustice system but it is in fact a method to solve the deficiencies of the criminal justice system.The system seeks to give opportunity to all the members of the community as well as the victimsto have greater control over the process of seeking justice. The key stakeholders of this processare offenders, victims and the community (Mackey, 1994).The aim of this system is to help the victim to engage in negotiation with the offender asclosely as possible. Victims will be directly involved in defining the responsibility and obligationof the offender. Victims include not only the person whom direct harm has been caused but alsohis family members and members of the community who have been affected by the crime. Thethree essential elements of the restorative process is meeting security, sustenance andrequirements of the victims. The primary objective is to understand and meet the needs of thevictims. These needs include their personal, financial, emotional and material needs. Thissystem is based on the assumption that crime is committed against an individual and not againststate. So the system takes into account compensation to the prey by criminal and not reprisal tothe offender by state. The system aims at restoring the relationships which get distorted due tocrime. It wants to stop the vicious cycle of crime by giving full support to the victim and anopportunity to offender to redeem on his own (Bazemore& Maloney, 1994).This system of justice aims at empowering victims to engage in dialogue with hisoffender actively. It is the decision of the victim to decide how to carry forward the mediationprocess and how to describe the duties and compulsions of the offenders. Offenders are alsoengaged and empowered to show them the truth about how much harm they have caused to thevictim. They are taught to take the onus of this responsibility themselves. So an opportunity isgiven to offender to make things right, amend all the violations caused by them, making acommitment to their obligations either in the form of compensation or restoration or communityservice. So the mission is to make the victim and offender understand that revenge or vengeanceis not the ultimate end result of any crime but there is another aspect to it. This aspect involvesrestoring the relationships that have been badly affected due to the criminal activity (Van Ness,1990).This technique is new and modernistic in its approach. It is a sort of precautionary retortthat endeavors to comprehend the offense in societal framework. It throws a challenge at everystakeholder to understand the main reason of criminal activity so that the vicious circle of crimeand punishment can be broken. It lays burden on the community now to rectify the wholeenvironment that gave birth to the crime scene and work towards healing for all those connected.Restorative justice is thus a different theory of criminal justice when compared withearlier system. It aims at mending the damage caused due to the unlawful conduct. It can be bestachieved when all the concerned parties decide to cooperate with each. This system can greatlyhelp in transforming the relationships amongst victims, offenders and community. This system ofjustice views criminal act more widely rather than just describing as unlawful. It gives moreimportance to victim and offender by not giving absolute power to government to decide the fate.It measures its success by seeing how much reparation has been done and not by how muchpenalty has been exacted.ReferencesBazemore, G., & Maloney, D. (1994) Rehabilitating community service: Towardrestorative service sanctions in a balanced justice system. Federal Probation 58(1): 24-35.Mackey, V. (1994). Goal: Restorative Justice. Justicia. (June) Newsletter of JudicialProcess Commission, Inc., Rochester, NY.Van Ness, D.W. (1990). Restorative justice.In B. Galaway, & J. Hudson (Eds.) CriminalJustice, Restitution, and Reconciliation. Monsey, N.J.: Willow Tree Press.

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