What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice is theory of justice, a framework to address harm, and a movement that seeks to transform people, relationships and our communities. Rooted in the traditional practices of Indigenous cultures around the world, restorative justice broadens the focus from punishment as justice to a system that creates healing and accountability by repairing harms and relationships. In practice, restorative justice brings together victims, offenders, and community members to address harms, identify needs, obligations, and the underlying causes of crime and conflict. Restorative Justice provides opportunities for all parties to share their experiences and unique journey, provide healing to victims and survivors, restore offenders to their families and communities, and prevent future harms to interpersonal relationships and communities. While repair may not be always be possible, victims, offenders and the community can come together to transform and heal the harm and suffering that comes from violence.


In both theory and practice, Re:store Justice embraces and promotes the foundational tenets of restorative justice to heal individuals and our communities, and transform our criminal justice system. Through our work organizing restorative justice symposia inside of prisons, training affected individuals and advocates, facilitating individual victim-offender dialogues, providing community days of healing for both victims and offenders, and facilitating restorative justice classes in prison, we build and strengthen key relationships, provide opportunities for equitable dialogue, encourage accountability, and engage all stakeholders to be directly involved in the process of responding to harms caused.

Our collaborative campaigns and programs create the space for survivors, the incarcerated, policy makers, law enforcement, prison officials, and other community members to gain greater understanding of the experiences of both victims and offenders, and collectively find solutions and respond to the injustices in our institutions, policies, and practices. While personal transformation and healing are at the core of what we do, healing is the beginning, not the end, of our work to mend our criminal justice system. To prevent future harm and create lasting social change, we understand that we must bridge gaps in empathy and understanding and continue building this movement of inclusion and unity.

To truly listen is to risk being changed forever.

— Sajek Henderson, Human Rights Advocate


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