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Lesson 2: Benefits of Restorative Justice

Restorative justice improves upon the traditional criminal justice in that it has the following benefits:


  • it views criminal acts more comprehensively: rather than defining crime only as lawbreaking, it recognizes that offenders harm victims, communities and even themselves
  • it involves more parties: rather than giving key roles only to government and the offender, it includes victims and communities as well
  • it measures success differently: rather than measuring how much punishment has been inflicted, it measures how much harm has been repaired or prevented
  • it recognizes the importance of community involvement and initiative in responding to and reducing crime, rather than leaving the problem of crime to the government alone.  
See what others have said about the benefits of restorative justice



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Slide Shows

Changing Lenses
A profound metaphor for understanding justice (Howard Zehr).
Justice that Heals 
Talks about the wounds of crime and how to heal them.

Introductory Tutorials

An introductory tutorial on the worldwide movement of restorative justice.

What is Restorative Justice?

Series of slide shows describing various aspects of restorative justice.


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Briefing Paper

This paper provides a  definition of restorative justice,  processes, and outcomes. The paper is available in English, French, Spanish, and Russian

Restorative Justice Learning Tool

provided by the Mennonite Central Committee. (requires flash player)