Crime Victim Considers Restorative Justice |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-05-03 21:54.
Then a letter came. It was from the young man from his prison cell. Of course it expressed remorse and apologies. I still have the letter. It was instinctive that a response was needed but I could not think of a thing to say to him.
This past Monday there was a segment on NPR's Talk of the Nation concerning restorative justice [see]. Recognizing that our penal system is largely broken, it explained how this set of principles is trying to restore some humanity and healing. It puts the persons who are convicted of crimes in contact with their victims and lets them interact... .
The goal of these controversial principles is not only to help the victim, but to help the criminal examine his life. Most, when taken to court, see themselves as being tried against the state, not a person. Many times they have never examined their lives and do not understand the damage that they have caused. The last step is to have them accepted back into society, to be told that they are worth something.
The focus is on healing people, not simply punishing them. Think about it. What makes most people commit crimes? It usually has to do with some kind of need (legitimate or otherwise) or they feel oppressed. What does a jail sentence do? If you had a need before hand, it will be greater after. You will have less money, you will have less opportunity to get a job, you will have fewer ties to the community, you will be looked down upon more, and you will feel more oppressed.
Restorative Justice Planned in Japan - NPA Hopes Victim-Juvenile Offender Dialogue Will Cut Recidivism Rates |TODAY|
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