Restorative Justice is a worldwide phenomenon. Here is where to start looking for information about restorative policies, practices and programs organized by region and country. For information on what is happening in particular countries, go to the RJ Library.
Restorative justice in Africa has been highlighted by recovery of indigenous justice practices, use of community service to address chronic prison overcrowding, national restorative responses to genocide and civil war, and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In Asia, interest in restorative justice has been particularly focused on juvenile justice, on regularizing indigenous practices, and on peacemaking and reconciliation in divided societies.
Restorative justice in Europe is characterized by experimentation in different areas with input from both government and community actors. With a diversity of systems and cultures in the region, the development of restorative initiatives has been used to address issues as diverse as juvenile justice in many countries, alternatives to paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland, and justice reform needs in Eastern Europe.
Latin American experiments with restorative justice developed in response to a variety of needs including justice reforms to counteract increasing rates of crime and violence while increasing citizen confidence in justice systems; national reconciliation efforts after years of civil war; and communities looking for alternative ways of addressing violence and conflict to create a ‘culture of peace.’
Restorative justice experiments are beginning in the Middle East some are related to the use of traditional processes for conflict resolution while others deal with child welfare and juvenile justice issues.
North America and Caribbean
Restorative justice in North America has arisen out of various sources such as indigenous practices of First Nations people, a discontent with the justice system, and a need to meet the needs of victims. It is currently being applied in various areas from prison to schools to child welfare issues.
In the Pacific region, restorative justice is well established as a manner of responding to crime. With roots in indigenous practices, restorative justice is being used to address crime, school discipline, and other types of conflicts.