Source: (2009) Law and Contemporary Problems. 72(2): 219-225.

By expanding the frame of reference, restorative justice can be defined as a paradigm whose scope encompasses more than victim–offender mediation (VOM) and whose emphasis includes the needs of society and offenders as well as victims. Restorative justice involves a wide variety of processes and programs that are more apt to restore both those who commit and those who suffer wrongs. It includes children-at-risk programs, drug courts, violence-treatment programs, as well as victim–offender mediation programs. It also includes efforts to assist former convicts returning to the community to engage in constructive lifestyles and sustainable roles in families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. It is a paradigm that includes any program or approach that satisfies the following criteria:1) Offenders must acknowledge their wrongdoing, expressing remorse and apology. 2) Offenders must be accountable and accept responsibility for all harms or injury their actions have caused to themselves and others, and must be willing to take corrective or remedial action as well as make appropriate reparations to those they have harmed.; 3) In response, the community, including victims if appropriate and possible in some realistically effective manner, pardons and assists in the reintegration of such offenders. (excerpt)

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