According to the ‘Little Book of Restorative Justice’ by Howard Zehr, Restorative Justice is a “theory in criminal justice that focuses on crime acts that are incurred by an offender against another individual” (14). This is why mediation between the victim and the offender is rather easy since it simply involves the offender and the one offended without other people joined in the process anymore. The reconciliation of the broken bond between the two parties would only be hindered by both parties and not by other influences.
This helps the mediator with regards to his connection with both people to be more ease and free of any other outside issues. This theory on justice and the implication of punishment against offenders has five basic principles: crime is an offense against people, and it creates an obligation to make things right; This means that the offense has been done against one person only, thus, mediation is possible.
An agreement between the offender and the one offended shall determine the possibility of any restorative justice program to occur. victims and communities should help decide how to repair the harm caused by crime; Restorative justice programs should directly involve the communities that are involved in the crime that has been incurred. The people around the community shall be the key factors on the pursuing process of the programs aimed out for reconciliation and reformation of both the victim and the offender. offenders have a personal responsibility to victims and communities for their crimes; The realization of the offender of the seriousness of what he has done is an important factor for repentance.
Before any program is commenced, it is necessary that it is clear to the offender why he opted to take the privilege of being treated under the restorative justice reformation practices. communities are responsible for the well-being of victims and offenders; It is very important to gain support from the society where the offenders and the victims are joined with.
As it is know, a person’s growth is usually dependent upon the society he lives in, thus, this means that the involvement of the society in this reformation process is a must results are best measured by the extent to which harm was repaired, not by the severity of the punishment that was imposed. The outcome of the process is usually seen basing from how much repair to the damage done by the crime as been resolved. This way, the reformation process is given a higher rate of importance than that of the punishment implied on the offender. (Source: Senator Carol A. Roessler. (2004).
Restorative Justice Programs. http://72. 14. 253. 104/search? q=cache:ZqTxLvUCXg0J:www. legis. state. wi.us/LaB/reports/046full. pdf+statistical+data+on+restorative+Justice+developments&hl=tl&gl=ph&ct=clnk&cd=9. (October 4, 2007). These processes are much related to the ones mentioned by senator Rossier concerning the role of the restorative justice to the community. True, the application of the major practices and principles of the said justice theory indeed involves the whole community as the key factors of reformation. Thus, the said practices are aimed on creating a more livable community for both the victim and the offender.
Yes, with the help of restorative justice programs and the anti-recidivism processes helps in the reduction of the number of returning inmates, especially juveniles to becoming more aggravated with the crimes they once have committed. Their conviction with regards to the grave effects of what they once have incurred helps them realize the importance of their lives and the strong need of changing their ways for the better not only for themselves but for their loved ones as well.