Back to RJ Archive

Mediation in the Criminal System: an Improved Model for Justice.

Khan, Shaneela
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Final paper, Professor Madigan, Spring. Downloaded 21 October 2005.

In the United States, our criminal law system defines crime as acts against the State rather than as acts
against individuals or communities at large. In these definitional parameters, we often overlook the
unmet needs of victims and society after a crime is committed. In our current system, we are
preoccupied with retribution instead of restoring the victims and healing the harm done. From here
stems the goals of restorative justice: an alternative to the typical criminal justice process. 1
Restorative justice is concerned with healing the wounded victim: financially, emotionally, and
socially.2 It expects offenders to rectify the harms they have inflicted, but then seeks to reintegrate both
parties back into society as contributing, law-abiding citizens.3 Restorative justice seeks to keep those
most effected by the crime directly involved with the process of responding to it.4 It is about looking to
the root of crime in its social context, and trying to break the cycle.5 The process empowers victims,
allows offenders to repent and heal, and restores relationships within the community.(excerpt)


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