Purpose of Restorative Justice

Essay by thisfridayCollege, UndergraduateA-, August 2008

download word file, 2 pages 4.3

Restorative justice is commonly used in today's courts, the main goal is to restore the victim, community and offender and to help them become "whole again". "Restorative justice is being seen as one of the tools in the tool box and one of the options that should be available for conflict resolution"(Hall, 2008). To accomplish this, the use of fines, restitution and community service are frequently used by sentencing judges. When restitution is order the offender is to pay the victim on an installment basis. This money is later used to provide services to the victim or victims such as counseling or any other issues that may come up. The federal courts see the use of restorative justice as a way to reintegrate the offender to the community and at the same time place responsibility on the offender. "Restorative justice is designed, according to Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to "shock" young thugs into changing their behavior by confronting them with the bloody reality of what a stab can do " (The Daily Telegraph, 2008).

It gives the offender a chance to take action to repair the harm. There is also a lot of emphasis on dialogue and negotiation as well as promoting direct involvement between the offender and the victim. The punishment should fit the crime, and since murder is a capital offense, justice demands capital punishment" (Corbett, 2001). Restorative justice attempts to change the offender's life by giving them a second chance to restore their life and become honorable citizens and part of the community.

Retributive justice on the other hand focuses on the act of taking revenge. "Retributive justice is preoccupied with blame and pain" (Bloom, 1999). The just deserts philosophy is the base of it structure. The punishment is understand as being justified because the...