RJ City® was a five year research and design project to answer a single question: What would a city look like that responded as restoratively as possible to every crime, every victim and every offender?
What was the RJ City project?
The project took what is known about restorative justice and in a disciplined way tested the boundaries of how it is used. This raised issues such as:
- What if one or both the parties are unwilling or unable to meet? Is there anything restorative we can offer?
- If a bureaucracy is needed to support a restorative system, is it possible for it to actually remain restorative?
- What about when coercion or incapacitation is required? Can restorative justice inform when and how it is applied?
How did the project work?
With the assistance of an international project advisory board, the project team decided on a working definition of restorative justice with articulated principles, values and goals. It then considered the content and interrelationships between three major functions of the RJ City justice system: resolving allegations of lawbreaking, building community peace and maintaining order. Finally, it considered how such a system could operate with the objective of ensuring a restorative experience.
How can I learn more?
There are two work products that will be of interest to you. The first is the final written report on the project. RJ City Final Report
The second is a case study that shows how the RJ City justice process might work for a home owner and the two young men who broke into her house.