Source: (1997) St. Paul, Minnesota: Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, University of Minnesota.

The debate over the future of the juvenile court and the juvenile justice system has been between proponents of a retributive philosophy and advocates of the traditional individual treatment mission. Both punitive approaches and those focused solely on treatment have failed to satisfy basic needs of crime victims, the community and even offenders. This document outlines an alternative philosophy (restorative justice) and a new mission (the balanced approach) which require that juvenile justice systems devote attention to making amends to victims and the community, increasing offender competencies, and protecting the public, through processes in which offenders, victims, and the community are all active participants. A Balanced and Restorative Justice model provides a framework for systemic reform and offers hope for preserving and revitalizing the juvenile justice system.


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