Theory Of Restorative Justice

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Similar to some other jurisdictions across the country, the justice system in Sonoma County has been changing its response to juvenile rule violations through referrals to programs adhering to restorative justice principles. Restorative justice puts victims’ needs at the center of the process, offenders on a path of reintegration by requiring that they be accountable and responsible, while simultaneously incorporating a third pillar of restorative justice--the community, as defined in good part by volunteers who contribute their time and voice and define the nature of local society in that process.
In this exploratory study we examine the experiences and characteristics of the volunteers who provide the essential support and primary linkage
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As Zehr (1972) notes, the theory of restorative justice is concerned with the victim, the offender(s), and the community. The victim is the person or group harmed and the concern of the processing is the healing of the victim. This is done through a process, such as a restorative conference or a circle that involves the offender and the community. The offender plays an important role by being accountable, responsible, and correcting the harm. However, the community also can play a key role in this process. A community can also be harmed by crime and as such it must be involved in the management of offenders, victims, and the community response as each individual case is resolved. This contrasts with traditional processing of offenders, which is concerned with meting out punishment in the name of the …show more content…
Given that the broad purpose of restorative justice is to make things right for victims through involving offenders and the community in the process, my questions are, Why do volunteers get involved in restorative justice? How do they represent the community in restorative processes? What do they get from that involvement as people and citizens? Later in the paper I will discuss my findings and then offer some thoughts about how these findings related to the theory of restorative

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