So it is crucial that the terms “restorative” and “justice” be kept and paired together, but with a broader understanding of justice. Without this pairing, the field is functioning as a compass without a needle.

In practice, she argues that continually asking oneself these three questions can keep us on track:

  1. Am I measuring (i.e. judging, objectifying)?
  2. Am I honoring?
  3. What message am I sending?

She suggests a definition of restorative justice:

“RJ acknowledges justice as honoring the inherent worth of all and is enacted through relationship.  As such it affects all social structures.  When something occurs that undermines the well-being of some, RJ provides a space for dialogue so that the humanity of all involved and affected can be restored and each person can once again become a fully contributing member of the community of which they are a part.” (p. 324)

With this “lens,” restorative justice is not something from the outside, as a solution for others.  It is a way of being for all of us.

Read the whole entry.