A number of programs have become associated with restorative justice because of the processes they use to respond to and repair the harm caused by crime:

  • victim-offender mediation programs use trained mediators to bring victims and their offenders together in order to discuss the crime, its aftermath, and the steps needed to make things right
  • circles are similar to victim-offender mediation, but differ in that they involve not only the offender and victim, but also their family members, community members, and government representatives
  • conferencing programs are also similar to victim-offender mediation, but have tended to more closely linked to the criminal justice system than either VOM or circles
  • victim-offender panels bring together groups of unrelated victims and offenders, linked by a common kind of crime but not by the particular crimes that have involved the others
  • victim assistance programs provide services to crime victims as they recover from the crime and proceed through the criminal justice process
  • ex-offender assistance programs provide services to offenders while they are in prison and on their release

Although reparative in nature, the following outcomes are not inherently restorative since they can be -- and have been -- used in ways that are more destructive or vindictive than reparative. However, when they are the outcome of a restorative process, they can provide important avenues for "making things right".

  • restitution programs require offenders to repay those who have been harmed by their offenses, generally through monetary payments but in some cases through in-kind services to the victims
  • community service programs require offenders to address the indirect harm to a community caused by crime by performing unpaid work that benefits the community
  • victim compensation funds provide payment to victims by the government or another party unrelated to the offender, in an amount based on the nature and extent of the harm received