Becoming Our Best

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is an unusual topic, but it seemed important to share with you the information I received at a recent conference in Florida. I believe this concept will be very important to our society and its future.

In our cultural beginnings, if there were an offense by one person against the other, the victim and offender would meet before the assembled community to decide what reparations would be made. This process provided a better opportunity for understanding on the part of the victim, appropriate punishment/reparation by the offender and a healing of the rift in the community. The same principles are used in Restorative Justice, usually on cases involving stolen or damaged property. In either Restorative Justice or our present system, prison is a likely punishment.

Prisoners who are incarcerated in U.S. prisons have a 70 percent probability that, upon release, they will be involved in future criminal activity. This statistic has deep meaning for each of us, since 2.3 million Americans are now in the prison system and most will be released.

Restorative Justice lowers drastically the possibility that the offender will repeat the crime or go back to prison. It also provides the possibility of healing and understanding for the victim and community.

So what can one person do to help?

• Become better informed about Restorative Justice

• Consider joining groups which promote this concept

• Visit prisons and learn about our present system

• Encourage others to learn about Restorative Justice

As most of you know, I like to work in areas of our society where it is possible to have “leverage”(use of preventive processes to get enhanced results). Restorative Justice fits this definition of leverage and can produce positive, long-lasting results. Please look into it for yourself.

Author: Bruce Johnsen Management Consultant:
824 Munras Ave Suite G
Monterey, CA 93940

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