Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael L. Hadley
Restorative justice is the popular term for wideranging principles, practices, and programs that aim at healing the harms caused by conflict and crime. It is a philosophical and spiritual approach rather than a codex or set of procedural rules. This means that proponents can agree on its processes and outcomes without necessarily assenting to all the principles. This alternative justice paradigm regards crime as not so much an offense against the state and its legal statutes as a violation of people and relationships and a disruption of the peace of the community. Where conventional justice procedures focus primarily on the offender in an essentially adversarial and retributive system, restorative justice focuses on the dynamic interrelationships among the three major constituents of conflict or crime: victim, offender, and community. In this context, community may mean the local “neighborhood” in which one lives, or the “community of interest” where one's special values ...