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The Cost of Restoration for the Offender

Misener, Don
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative justice: A Christian perspective, ed. Rod Carter. Kingston, Ontario: Restorative Justice Program, Queens Theological College. Pp. 15-17.

Don Misener points out that criminal behavior arouses strong emotional reactions within those who are offended. The consequences are conflict, hostility, and alienation. The criminal justice system, far from helping to resolve these issues, seems to compound them for victims and offenders. As a Christian, Misener believes that justice has to do with making peace – with shalom in the biblical sense. This means working toward reconciliation among people and restoration of wholeness to communities. Restoration requires that both the victim and the offender are willing to work toward reconciliation. Restoration is costly for both parties. In this essay, Misener focuses on the costliness of restoration for the offender. He outlines a process that can, with modification for individual circumstances, lead to restoration. This process centers in five R’s: facing reality; accepting responsibility; expressing repentance; knowing reconciliation; and making restitution.


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