Defining justice can be very complicated, everyone has their own distinct way of defining what justice is and how it should be applied throughout society. Some people believe that justice needs to be swift and harsh, to ensure change. While others believe in restorative justice is in order. Many institutions (Criminal justice, Education, Workplace Religious) are deciding to move from a solely punishments based form of justice, into more restorative justice practices. All though restorative justice has been around for many years, it is often not utilized, but has many benefits for the victim, offender, and the community. Contrary to popular belief restorative justice is not primarily about forgiveness or reconciliation nor is it designed to reduce recidivism or is an alternative to prisons/punishments. But instead, restorative justice acts to meet the needs of not only the victim or the offender, but instead all of the people involved.
Restorative justice is assumed to promote justice because it impacts more than just the person who committed the crime. While everyone’s ways of implementing justice can vary, for all intents and purposes, a simple definition of justice is; a concern for justice, peace and genuine respect for people. (dictionary.com) Criminal justice is effective in many ways, but often, it neglects the importance of the victims as well as the community. Criminal justice is believed the provide justice for the victim as well as the community, many times it only punishes the criminal. Restorative justice puts the emphasis on the victim, while criminal justice treats the state like the victim and as a result, the needs of the real victim are often ignored. Restorative justice focuses on all those involved whether implicitly or explicitly, thus promoting justice on a larger scale by trying to solve the problems of those involved and getting them what they deserve. Compared to criminal justice which only punishes the offender(s) and neglects the needs of others involved in the situations.
Restorative justice is assumed to prevent crime and delinquency for several reasons. Firstl, restorative justice seeks to involve the community in the process. While criminal justice often neglects to acknowledge the needs of the community. By encompassing the community into the process, community members can gain some firsthand insight into how crime and delinquency affects the community which will give members a better understanding of why those behaviors are wrong. Also the community learns things they can do to help stop those actions from further perpetrating throughout their community. Also by incorporating the community in the justice process, the victim as well as the offender get the support that the both need. To achieve what they deserve
Restorative justice is said to accomplish the goals of promoting justice and preventing crime and delinquency by putting precedence on the importance of the victim and the community. An importance aspect of restorative justice, is the relationship the offender builds with the victim as well as the community. By not feeling ostracized within the community coupled with the fact that this process is voluntary, the offender is much more likely to not revert back to their old ways. And at the same time the community learns what to do differently in order to ensure that they don’t play a part in those actions happening again.
The concept of restorative justice is perfectly embodied with some of the ideas found in “Justice” by Michael Sandel. Throughout the entire book Sandel aims to define what justice is and how we attempt fulfill “JUSTICE.” Sandel spends an entire chapter telling what utilitarianism is and how complicated it can be while providing examples of implementing utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is attempting to create the most happiness, while limiting pain for the greater good. That’s sounds simple, but everyone has different ways of achieving utilitarianism. some people might believe that by punishing the criminal is what spreads happiness and reduces pain for the greater good. While others might believe that restorative justice acts a way to create happiness and limit pain for the greater good.
When it comes to criminal justice, many times the State takes the roll of victim and often leaves the victim and others involved out in the cold. With this practice no one is gaining “happiness”, or its extremely limited to who happiness reaches. While restorative justice focuses on all parties involved. Those directly affected by the situation often don’t receive the help they need. We often neglect to realize that just because someone isn’t the victim or offender, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected at all. By acknowledging and solving the problem of everyone involved, restorative justice creates more overall happiness. Compared to just punishing the offender, which creates or encourages little to no happiness. And since restorative justice is completely voluntary, more times than not the victim(s), offender(s) and community are making a conscience effort to achieve utilitarianism
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