Back to RJ Archive

Restorative justice: Mending the fabric of society

LeGardeur, Lili
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) National Catholic Reporter: The Independent Newsweekly. May 30. Downloaded 12 January 2005.

If longer prison sentences, mandatory sentencing and truth in sentencing are all part of being tough on crime and getting justice for victims, it stands to reason that ‘alternative sentencing’ programs like restorative justice are soft on crime and place victims’ rights above those of the victims they’ve offended. On the contrary, says Lou Furman, a specialist in restorative justice. The traditional, or ‘retributive,’ justice system, he says, revictimizes crime victims by taking away their voice and their wishes in framing redress to the crime. A lawyer may eventually ask questions of the victims, but their ability to speak is limited to answering the questions lawyers ask to prove or disprove a legal charge. At no point in the process, says Furman, does the retributive legal system ask the victim what he or she needs to restore the damage done. (extract)


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