Essay about the Purpose of Restorative Justice
In restorative justice, parties that are involved in the specific case could collectively resolve the outcome of the crime or offense and its further effects. Victims can actively participate in the seeking sanction from the offender, and likewise offenders are encouraged to take responsibility on their actions. Offender can either correct those offenses through community service, by apologizing or by giving monetary equivalent to the offense made (Restorative Justice Council, 2012). Restorative justice provides an alternative to legal rules and regulations and punishes the offender through imprisonment. It can also be asserted as a new way of addressing crime and offenses. It also gives a sense of satisfaction to both parties since they are included in the process. And victims would feel better since they are active in seeking retribution. Likewise, offenders are encouraged to make amends with the victim by doing meaningful ways of addressing the crime or offense. It is no surprise that communities have been adapting restorative justice.
The main difference of Restorative Justice in other legal laws is that it gives out more victim satisfaction. Restorative Justice provides a notable effectiveness of the program in increasing victim/offender satisfaction and restitution compliance and also minimizing offense repetition(Latimer, Dowden & Muise, 2005). Once the victim is involved in seeking justice, fear of the victim is reduced since there is a feeling of help and protection from the community or group people who assisting or mediating the process. Victims could also be aware of the ongoing settlement and updates of the process. In a sense, victims have full access to information about the offender and his sanction on his offense. They would be relieved from waiting for a certain time for the due process, and finding out the result in a longer time.
In the part of the offender, it creates awareness of the gravity of the crime and the sanction and action that is needed in order to address it. The great benefit of restorative Justice is that it decreases the chance of re-offending. By doing community service, it prepares the offender to be integrated into the community again. It teaches responsibility and concern for the over-all peace and order of the community. It also gives a chance for the offender to address and straighten out the crime done or the offense. In turn, it gives the offender a sense of responsibility on the wrongdoings that he has done. The offender needs to realize his accountability and thereby personal growth can be experienced in this process.And having restorative justice supported by the community makes it easier for the offenders to offer service and finish the task and regain the trust of the community where they belong.
Another purpose of Restorative Justice is to regain the trust of the community to the justice system. Since victims have a higher satisfaction rate using this process, community reacts positively to this and increases the morale of the people. Community can also be viewed as a secondary victim in the offense. Peace and order is disrupted because of the offense and the offender is held liable not only to the direct victim but also to the community. It also empowers the community by giving them a part in the decision-making process on the future effects of the offense. The community secures the unity and mutual understanding regarding the order and consequences of criminal actions.
Restorative Justice benefits the community; it reassures the victim and helps the offender realize his mistake and improve himself. The main objective of this is simple. It simply recognizes that crime endangers community and this system aim to repair this by involving everyone in the remedial process of the crime.
Latimer, J., Dowden, C., & Muise, D. (2005). The effectiveness of restorative justice practices: A meta-analysis. The Prison Journal, 85(2), 127--144.
What Is Restorative Justice / Restorative Justice Council. (2012). Restorativejustice.org.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2014, from http://www.restorativejustice.org.uk/what_is_restorative_justice/