Definitions and usages of terminology in RJ City.
A private judicial proceeding in which the disputants bring in a third party, usually neutral, to decide the dispute based on evidence presented. Rules of evidence and procedure may or may not apply. Arbitration may be adversarial or cooperative.
The behavioural norms, skills, ideas, resources, and traditions that have been proven to successfully exhibit restorative justice principles and values. Within the cooperative process their use is the principal way that stakeholders are assured of fair processes.
Capacity building concerns a community’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional, and resource capabilities. It concerns efforts to enhance the community’s ability to evaluate and address crucial questions based on an understanding of potentials and limits and of needs perceived by the people of the community concerned.
In RJ City usage, it refers to empowering the community to build a just peace and take increased responsibility for its members. This requires building a solid contingent of volunteers, professionals, and general citizens to support the Network by developing strong restorative programmes, solving their own differences restoratively, and assisting others in doing the same.
The spontaneous, non-programme-related, private, non-permanent response of a community of care to a need. Most often arises in response to a specific incident.
A format for facilitated dialogue. Circles include any combination of victims, offenders, communities of care, judges and/or court personnel, prosecutors, defence counsel, police, as well as interested community members. The circle is convened by a “keeper of the circle” whose role is principally to oversee the process. Circles are used for different purposes; common types are sentencing circles (to agree on a sentence), healing circles (to provide care and support for victims or offenders) and peacemaking circles (to address conflicts that have not risen to the level of a criminal offence).
A group of people bound together by a common interest and willing to work together for that interest.
Local community - The entire group of private citizens living in a given location. For example, RJ City, or a neighbourhood within RJ City.
Neighbourhood: A group of individuals who live in close proximity to one another. Usually neighbourhoods include a couple blocks of houses, although they can be smaller or bigger. Usually self-defined by those living in the neighbourhood, the neighbourhood boundaries may grow or shrink depending on the context.
Community of interest – A group of individuals who gather together around a particular special interest or activity. Examples include those gathered by their faith, their job/vocation, sports, a particular life experience or problem, etc.
Community of care – The group of people who are committed to care for, protect, support, and encourage an individual. Frequently includes family members, faith community members, counsellors, teachers, and/or friends. Some individuals do not have a strong or beneficial community of care, so these people may need help in recruiting a new one.
Relational neighbourhood – The group of people with which an individual interacts frequently, to whom an individual feels connected, or to whom the individual would go for help. Often includes families, friends, co-workers, and neighbours, as well as faith or school community leaders.
Within RJ City, when “community” is used in contrast to “state” or “government”, it refers to the group of individuals acting in their private capacity.
Community Building Sphere
A format for facilitated dialogue. Conferencing involves the community of people most affected by the crime—the victim, the offender, and the community of care of both—in deciding the resolution of a criminal or delinquent incident. The affected parties are brought together by a trained facilitator to discuss how they and others have been harmed by the offence and how that harm might be repaired.
In RJ City, the group of programmes and practices that respond to crime by enabling parties to work together cooperatively in resolving the claims and responsibilities growing out of the offence. See negotiation, mediation, conference and circle.
The generally non-scientific assessment of the likelihood that a given individual will later harm society or others and of the relative severity of that harm. It requires consideration of the likelihood of new offences (risk), the nature of the expected harm if new offences are committed (stakes), and the calculated combination of risks and stakes.
The components or building blocks of the Network. They include programmes, systems, processes, boards, committees, movements, efforts, organizations, agencies, funds, etc. (“Programme” and “element” are used interchangeably.)
A face-to-face or indirect meeting of parties to discuss what took place, consider the impact of the offence on the parties, and agree on how to make things right. An encounter may be facilitated or conducted by the parties alone; planned or spontaneous; large or small. See mediation, conference and circle.
Refers to the degree of form within a programme. Formal programmes are those with structured accountability, fixed order, and tradition. If a programme is established enough to have an address in the phone book, an official name, or any kind of advertising, it may be considered formal. See informal.
The body of persons responsible for establishing and implementing the policies, actions and affairs of a political jurisdiction. Also refers to persons employed or contracted by the State to carry out its programmes. In RJ City, the government is responsible for assuring fairness, protection, accountability and support for restorative programmes and processes belonging to the Network.
Injury, damage or loss. The negative impact of an offence upon a person, group, or community. Direct harm includes property loss, damage or destruction; physical and psychological injury; and death. Indirect harm includes rising fear in a neighbourhood or a growing general sense of lawlessness.
Steps or precautions to limit an individual’s physical freedom. Examples include restrictions such as a curfew, probation, suspension of driver’s license or other privileges, time spent in a treatment facility, house arrest, or imprisonment.
Informality refers to the degree of form within a programme. Informal programmes may be completely spontaneous, lacking any chain of command, fixed order, or tradition. Most informal programmes are community-based, within the cooperative process. There may, however, be exceptions. See formal.
- The act of violating enforceable norms established to govern behaviour among people within a group, community, or society. This includes not only violations of criminal law (which are called crimes) but of other enforceable regulations such as student conduct codes in schools, workplace rules, and so forth.
The process of being knit into a healthy community. Both victims and offenders may need help with this, either because they have been estranged by their experience of crime (and the justice process, in some cases) and others’ reactions to that experience, or because they were never a part of a healthy community in the first place. See reintegration.
Those things (material, physical, emotional, spiritual, and/or relational) that are required in order to recover from the effects of experiencing or causing harm.
The process of creating an agreement between parties concerning how to resolve matters related to the offence. The negotiation may be conducted by the parties alone, with the assistance of a facilitator, or by an intermediary working between the parties.
In RJ City, the entire constellation of elements associated together to deal with crime in as restorative a manner as possible. Includes the Resolution Sphere, the Community-building Sphere, the Order Sphere, and the Hub.
- Conformity or obedience to law or established authority.
- Imposition of order means compelling parties, using coercion if necessary, to accept a resolution determined by a third party.
- The elements within RJ City that work together to suppress crime when its causes have not been adequately identified and corrected.
- An approach to public safety that focuses on community solidarity and justice.
The active process of creating conditions or individual attributes with an end result that the likelihood of criminal behaviour decreases. “Global” prevention approaches are directed toward a general population. “Selective” prevention approaches target groups at greater risk of developing or continuing negative behaviours. ”Individual” prevention approaches target individuals who have known, identified risks for developing negative behaviours.
That harm that is done to the community by a crime. Public harm is often due more to the collective influence of many crimes than to the influence of a single offence. Harm includes increased fear, distrust of the justice system and other state authorities, fragmentation of the community, and the consumption of resources needed for other priorities.
The act of trying to repair the harm caused or revealed by an injustice as fully as possible. It may take many forms, such as payment of money to the victim or, if the victim wishes, to a charitable organization. It may involve work for the victim or, if the victim wishes, community service. For some victims the preferred form of reparation is that the offender will co-operate with whatever type of programme he or she needs to help avoid offending in future, such as completing his or her education, acquiring skills, or attending treatment for addiction.
Compensation (given or received) for an injury or insult.
Payments by the offender to the actual victim, perhaps through an intermediary
Earnings shared with some community agency or group serving as a substitute victim
Personal services performed by the offender to benefit the victim
Labour donated by the offender for the good of the community.
- This term is sometimes used narrowly to refer to programmes that bring affected parties together to agree on how to respond to crime (this might be called the encounter conception of restorative justice). It is used more broadly by others to refer to a theory of reparation and prevention that would influence all criminal justice (the reparative conception). Finally, it is used most broadly to refer to a belief that the preferred response to all conflict – indeed to all of life – is peacebuilding through dialogue and agreement of the parties (the transformative conception).
- The following definition was adopted for use in RJ City: ‘Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by unjust behaviour. Restoration is best accomplished through inclusive and cooperative processes.’”
- A decision by a judicial or otherwise-official third party that an offender must compensate or otherwise provide reparation to the parties who were harmed by the offence.
- Voluntary meeting of parties in the aftermath of an injustice when those parties are willing to use respectful dialogue and agreement to resolve the interests and responsibilities of each. It is preferable for these meetings to involve face-to-face conversations by the parties, but they may also consist of indirect forms of communication through letter, audio- or videotape, or through an intermediary.
- Intentionally imposing harm, usually with little regard to proportionality, on the wrongdoer in return for the harm done to the victim.
The term used to describe the protections owed to a stakeholder within the adjudicative process
Standards of freedom, dignity, and respect to which every person is legally entitled in a certain situation.
The likelihood that a person or action will be a source of danger.
Risk factors: Characteristics or attributes of a person, their family, their peers, their environment, their school, etc., that increase the chance for behaviour problems. Typical risk factors include living where drugs and firearms are available in the community, school failure, family conflict, and friends who engage in problem behaviours. These risk factors fall within four categories or domains: community, family, school, and individual/peer.
An order for what an offender should to do make amends for the harm done by his crime. Should take into account the amount of personal and public harm done, the seriousness of the offence, and the amount of pain caused the offender by the sentence. The consideration of the amount of pain is used as an argument to diminish the sentence, but never to increase it.
Seriousness of an Offence
The degree of harm caused or threatened by an offence. Can be determined by looking at the effects of the harmful behaviour (lasting impact, number of people affected, intrusiveness of crime into the lives of the victims, etc.).
A Hebrew word that signifies welfare of every kind: security, contentment, sound health, prosperity, friendship, peace of mind and heart, as opposed to the dissatisfaction and unrest caused by evil.
A level of requirement, excellence, or attainment. An acknowledged measure of comparison for quantitative or qualitative value; a criterion.
Those practices among RJ City’s “best practices” that are used to assess the capability of cooperative processes to serve the interests of victims, offenders, communities and governments.
Victim (of Crime)
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