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Justice: Retribution or Restoration?

Zehr, Howard
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Peacework Magazine on the web, April 1999.

Zehr explains the perspective behind the current retributive system of justice and its focus on the breaking of laws, punishment, and the removal of responsibility from the offender. He then identifies how the Biblical advocates approaching crime and victimization through a restorative process that addresses the relational needs of the victim and the offender. God’s intent is for “shalom,” which means “people living in right relationship to one another – materially, socially, spiritually.” Restorative justice is just that pursuit of relational justice and peace.


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