Defined Terms

Restorative Justice or Restorative Justice Model means promoting the restoration of relations between the community, the offender and the victim.

Restorative Justice aims to repair the harm caused by crime rather than an absolute focus on punishing the offender.

What is restorative justice? - The Norwegian American · Linn Chloe Hagstrøm  - 6 SEPTEMBER  2016

A restorative criminal justice system focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. This forms the base of the Norwegian criminal justice system. Norwegians view their penal system in terms of rehabilitation (rather than retribution), following the notion that the closer you are to the society you are going back to, the less challenging it will be to re-integrate upon release.

Restorative justice views crime as more than breaking the law – it also causes harm to people, relationships, and the community. So a just response must address those harms as well as the wrongdoing. If the parties are willing, the best way to do this is to help them meet to discuss those harms and how to about bring resolution. Other approaches are available if they are unable or unwilling to meet. Sometimes those meetings lead to transformational changes in their lives.

Notice three big ideas:
(1)     repair: crime causes harm and justice requires repairing that harm;
(2)     encounter: the best way to determine how to do that is to have the parties decide together; and
(3)     transformation: this can cause fundamental changes in people, relationships and communities.

A more formal definition is this: Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow all willing stakeholders to meet, although other approaches are available when that is impossible. This can lead to transformation of people, relationships and communities.

The foundational principles of restorative justice have been summarized as follows:

  1. Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm.

  2. The people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution.

  3. The responsibility of the government is to maintain order and of the community to build peace.

If restorative justice were a building, it would have four cornerposts:

  1. Inclusion of all parties

  2. Encountering the other side

  3. Making amends for the harm

  4. Reintegration of the parties into their communities

The Father of Restorative Justice chronicles that Captain Alexander Maconochie was likely the first exponent of Restorative Justice due to his treatment of very hardened criminals at Norfolk Island almost 200 years ago, which is the basis of the 1st Prong of the Living Outside the Cell model.

Captain Alexander Maconochie certainly had his opponents of his seemingly 'soft' treatment of inmates during an era of vicious physical punishment evidenced in Corporal Punishment previously sentenced in Australia.  Doubtless, today, there are opponents of Four Gears of Early Rehabilitation and Release, particularly amongst proponents of Tough on Crime that have little understanding of Warehouse Sentencing in some western countries, driven by Penal Populism, has failed DozenlyBut are more intent with 'audience ratings' and the sound of their own voice.

Below are two quotes from: Internet of incarceration: How AI could put an end to prisons as we know them  -  ABC News  -  14 Aug 2017:

        "That element of "normalcy", argues Professor Larson, forces criminals to reflect on their own behaviour and guilt, rather than to see themselves as victims."

        "He believes that Halden in Norway could be used as a role model for change — but not, he maintains, until Anglosphere countries get over their focus on retribution above reform."