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Restoring Justice

Lombardi, M. J
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) National Council of Churches.

This video profiles the restorative justice model for addressing criminal offenses in contrast to the currently popular retributive justice model. The host introduces the video by contrasting the restorative justice model with the retributive justice model. Whereas retributive justice places the responsibility for rendering justice (typically defined as the disposition of imprisonment and fines) in the hands of the state represented by the prosecutor, the restorative justice model focuses on the impact of the crime on the victim and what can be done to address the victim’s suffering and loss. The retributive justice model aims to punish the offender, usually through imprisonment, but the restorative justice model holds the offender accountable and structures a means for the offender to address what he/she has done to the victim. After summarizing the basic concepts of restorative justice through narrator comments and comments by various criminal justice professionals as well as religious leaders, the video portrays existing programs that reflect the values of restorative justice. These include victim-offender mediation programs and community service programs for offenders. These programs are designed not only to hold offenders accountable for what they have done to their victims but also to assist them in developing positive behaviors that serve rather than hurt the community. Community service projects portrayed have value for the community and thus give offenders the experience of behaving in a way that helps rather than hurts others. The Community Re- Entry Program in Cleveland, Ohio, is featured. This is a program that provides positive experiences for offenders and ex-offenders in the community. Also described is a Cleveland community policing effort in which police on bicycles interact with citizens at their residences and businesses to identify and respond to citizen concerns. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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