Restorative justice Restorative justice is a new technique to heal the wounds of the victims. It involves converting the offenders into lawful citizens and finally revamping the harm caused to the relationships and the community. It is not just a technique to implement some new criminal justice system but it is in fact a method to solve the deficiencies of the criminal justice system. The system seeks to give opportunity to all the members of the community as well as the victims to have greater control over the process of seeking justice. The key stakeholders of this process are offenders, victims and the community (Mackey, 1994). The aim of this system is to help the victim to engage in negotiation with the offender as closely as possible. Victims will be directly involved in defining the responsibility and obligation of the offender. Victims include not only the person whom direct harm has been caused but also his family members and members of the community who have been affected by the crime. The three essential elements of the restorative process is meeting security, sustenance and requirements of the victims. The primary objective is to understand and meet the needs of the victims. These needs include their personal, financial, emotional and material needs. This system is based on the assumption that crime is committed against an individual and not against state. So the system takes into account compensation to the prey by criminal and not reprisal to the offender by state. The system aims at restoring the relationships which get distorted due to crime. It wants to stop the vicious cycle of crime by giving full support to the victim and an opportunity to offender to redeem on his own (Bazemore& Maloney, 1994). This system of justice aims at empowering victims to engage in dialogue with his offender actively. It is the decision of the victim to decide how to carry forward the mediation process and how to describe the duties and compulsions of the offenders. Offenders are also engaged and empowered to show them the truth about how much harm they have caused to the victim. They are taught to take the onus of this responsibility themselves. So an opportunity is given to offender to make things right, amend all the violations caused by them, making a commitment to their obligations either in the form of compensation or restoration or community service. So the mission is to make the victim and offender understand that revenge or vengeance is not the ultimate end result of any crime but there is another aspect to it. This aspect involves restoring the relationships that have been badly affected due to the criminal activity (Van Ness, 1990). This technique is new and modernistic in its approach. It is a sort of precautionary retort that endeavors to comprehend the offense in societal framework. It throws a challenge at every stakeholder to understand the main reason of criminal activity so that the vicious circle of crime and punishment can be broken. It lays burden on the community now to rectify the whole environment that gave birth to the crime scene and work towards healing for all those connected. Restorative justice is thus a different theory of criminal justice when compared with earlier system. It aims at mending the damage caused due to the unlawful conduct. It can be best achieved when all the concerned parties decide to cooperate with each. This system can greatly help in transforming the relationships amongst victims, offenders and community. This system of justice views criminal act more widely rather than just describing as unlawful. It gives more importance to victim and offender by not giving absolute power to government to decide the fate. It measures its success by seeing how much reparation has been done and not by how much penalty has been exacted. References Bazemore, G., & Maloney, D. (1994) Rehabilitating community service: Toward restorative service sanctions in a balanced justice system. Federal Probation 58(1): 24-35. Mackey, V. (1994). Goal: Restorative Justice. Justicia. (June) Newsletter of Judicial Process Commission, Inc., Rochester, NY. Van Ness, D.W. (1990). Restorative justice.In B. Galaway, & J. Hudson (Eds.) Criminal Justice, Restitution, and Reconciliation. Monsey, N.J.: Willow Tree Press.
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