Source: (2004) Visiting Experts’ Papers, 123rd International Senior Seminar, Resource Material Series No. 63, pp. 124-135. Tokyo: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute For the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders. Downloaded 10 February 2005.
Restorative justice is not a particular programme or a fixed set of practices. It is a framework for guiding
our actions in large and small ways in every part of the justice system. Additionally, restorative justice places
a high value on: 1) empowering those closest to the problem (including the offender) to design a specific
solution tailored to the problem and 2) viewing every problem as an opportunity to learn. Consequently, fluid,
flexible approaches are essential to maintain the spirit of restorative justice â€“ to leave key decisions to the
stakeholders and to continually incorporate new learnings. So, in many ways restorative justice is a journey,
more than it is a destination. If the journey is guided by the principles and values of restorative justice, the
destination may be one that no one anticipated, but it will be one that serves all the stakeholders.
So, questions of implementation take a different form than in many other kinds of change in public
systems. There is no single path toward a restorative vision. There is no blueprint with precise instructions
for how to do it. The path must be responsive to the particular context of each community and to
opportunities as they emerge and must always be rooted in the values of respect, self determination , mutual
responsibility and inclusion.
There are, however, conditions which increase the likelihood of success in implementation efforts. (excerpt)
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