Restorative Justice Principles

  1. Restorative justice is a way of thinking and responding to conflicts, disputes, or offenses. Restorative justice is concerned with making things as right as possible for all people.
  2. Restorative justice recognizes that response to conflicts, disputes or offenses is important. Restorative justice responds in ways that build safe and healthy communities.
  3. Restorative justice is not permissive. Restorative justice prefers to deal cooperatively and constructively with conflicts, disputes and offenses at the earliest possible time and before they escalate.
  4. Restorative justice recognizes that violations of rules and laws are also indicators of transgressions and offenses against persons, relationships, and community.
  5. Restorative justice addresses the harms and needs created by, and related to, conflicts, disputes and offenses.
  6. Restorative justice holds disputants and offenders accountable to recognize harm, repair damages as much as possible, and create a civil future.
  7. Restorative justice empowers offended, disputants, offenders and their communities to assume central roles in recognizing harm, repairing damages, and creating a safe and civil future.
  8. Restorative justice repairs the breach and reintegrates the victim, offender and their community as much as possible.
  9. Restorative justice prefers maximum use of voluntary and cooperative response options and minimum use of force and coercion.
  10. Restorative justice authorities provide oversight, assistance, and coercive backup when individuals are not cooperative.
  11. Restorative justice is measured by its outcomes, not just its intentions. Do offended emerge from the restorative justice response feeling respected and safe? Are participants motivated and empowered to live constructive and civil lives? Are they living in the community in a way that demonstrates an acceptable balance of freedom and responsibility? Are responses by authorities, community, and individuals respectful, reasonable, and restorative for everyone?
  12. Restorative justice recognizes and encourages the role of community organizations, including the education and faith communities, in teaching and establishing the moral and ethical standards that build up the community.