Back to RJ Archive

Forgiveness and reconciliation in restorative justice conferences.

Van Stokkom, Bas
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Newsletter of the European Forum for Restorative Justice. 9(3):1-3.

Many proponents of restorative justice assume
that the encounter will lead to a balanced process
of reconciliation and forgiveness. Articulating
a genuine apology will relieve the victim’s distress
and restore his/her worth, while expressing forgiveness
will instil a sense of reacceptance in the
offender. Many proponents do speak in terms of a
‘regretting offender’ and an ‘understanding victim’.
In the advocacy literature victims are supposed
to be forgiving and prepared to offer offenders
a second chance, while offenders are willing to
change their behaviour. The question is how realistic
these ideals are. Is it reasonable to expect
forgiveness and reconciliation between people
who do not know each other and might have very
diverging views on the criminal event? Do forgiveness
and reconciliation play a dominant role during
the process? (excerpt)


AbstractCourtsForgivenessPrisonsRJ OfficeVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now