Source: (2003) Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference On Restorative Justice. Centre for Restorative Justice. 1-4 June. Vancouver BC. Downloaded 21 August 2003.
In restorative justice (RJ) crime is viewed as a conflict between individuals that results in harm to individuals and communities. Victims, offenders, and community members come together in a RJ process to repair the harm and restore peace. An offendersÃ¢Â€Â™ offer of an apology and a victimsÃ¢Â€Â™ acceptance of the apology can promote this restorative process. An apology can be, in its simplest form, a polite expression of Ã¢Â€ÂœIÃ¢Â€Â™m sorryÃ¢Â€? for a minor social transgression. Past research has shown an apology needs to be in balance with the harm done. If the harm is great, the apology must be comprehensive to be accepted. In particular, an apology should be an expression of responsibility, remorse, reparation, and forbearance. We present a conceptual model illustrating the role of apology and empathy in the restorative justice process. We examine victimsÃ¢Â€Â™ and offendersÃ¢Â€Â™ perceptions of effective apologies, and measure the effect of an offer and acceptance of apology on victimsÃ¢Â€Â™ healing and offendersÃ¢Â€Â™ rehabilitation. Finally, we discuss the role of empathy in offering and accepting apologies. The present analysis has implications for restorative justice theory and practice.
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