The State Attorney’s Office is committed to exploring new approaches to obtaining justice.
One of those approaches is the concept of restorative justice.
According to the Restorative Justice Project, the idea produces a consensus-based plan of face-to-face dialogues that meet victim-identified needs while supporting the positive development of those who have been harmed.
According to “The Little Book of Restorative Justice” by Howard Zehr:
“Restorative Justice is a movement to address the needs and roles of victims of crime, offenders, and communities, rather than the legalistic system that holds offenders purely in relation to violation of the state and law.
Victim needs include a sense of increased involvement and empowerment with the criminal justice process, including learning the facts contributing (to) the crime and allowing healing through the telling of their story.
Offender needs center around having the offender empathize with the victim and take responsibility for their actions. The community is involved as a ‘secondary victim’ and is encouraged to have their voices heard, while also contributing to how a safer, healthier community can be achieved.
Restorative justice has 3 pillars: (1) focusing the harm and resulting needs primarily of the victim, but also the community and offender, (2) the obligations of the offender to repair the harm as best as possible, and (3) the engagement or participation of all these stakeholders in the justice process.”
We will be updating this section as new initiatives are announced and implemented.