“I cannot alone change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” -Mother Theresa
Northern Arizona Restorative Justice Restorative Justice is a fast-growing state, national and international social movement that views crime and wrongdoing as a violation of relationships, creating harm that needs to be repaired. Unlike the traditional justice system, in this model justice is served not by punishing the offender, but by repairing the harm. It is so effective that 88% of our youth who participate do not re-offend.
Northern Arizona Restorative Justice currently works primarily with first-time juvenile offenders. The cornerstone of the process is to bring together all parties involved, including members of the community, into a safe circle for deep listening, empathy and truth-telling. The offenders tell their story and the victims have their questions answered, and all get to share how the offense has harmed them and what is needed from the offender to repair the harm. An agreement is then reached by which the youth is held accountable to make the necessary repairs. If successful, the case is dismissed and he or she will not have to face any further legal action.
This respectful, non-shaming approach helps youth to see themselves as valuable and contributing members of society while showing them how their actions impact others. They are given tools to make better choices in the future, families learn to communicate more authentically and effectively, and victims are given a voice and play an active role in the process.
As one parent stated, “Restorative Justice looks at what can be corrected, what can be achieved in a more positive manner. Restorative Justice was a healing process for all of us.”
Our work has a powerful impact not only on the people we work with directly, but on the larger community as a whole.