Faith was a source of inspiration for many who constructed the institutions of contemporary criminal justice. It was also a resource for some of the early practitioners of restorative justice. Its influence on both groups continues.
Faith communities are touched by restorative practices in a number of ways. They may use restorative processes to resolve their own conflicts. Their members may be victims, offenders and/or family members of both. They may seek to influence their communities to support restorative programs. They may sponsor, or their members may participate in, those programs. And they may advocate for systemic change to make restorative justice a more prominent part of their community's response to crime. Or they may oppose restorative reforms. The following articles consider the challenging and sometimes complicated relationship between faith communities and restorative justice.