Restorative justice seeks to repair the harm caused by criminal behavior. Using a victim-centered approach to address crime allows the victim and the juvenile who caused harm to opt into a facilitated conversation about what happened. One of the goals of restorative justice is to resolve the matter so it doesn’t happen again. Restorative justice works best when crime victims are willing and amenable and everyone involved is committed to a resolution.
Read on as the Orange County, CA, juvenile criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Katie Walsh explains more about restorative justice advantages.
Benefits to the Community
The community benefits from restorative justice in California in several ways. First, when juveniles are involved in the restorative justice process, there is a high success rate in reducing repeat criminal offenses. When communities work to reintegrate juveniles after the harm has been repaired, the likelihood of recidivism is reduced. When restorative justice is used, the process reduces re-offending by 83%. In Oakland Unified School District, schools implementing restorative justice enjoyed a 40% decrease in suspensions for African-American students in one year.
When the recidivism rate is reduced, the community is safer, and neighborhoods and towns become more pleasant places to live. Additionally, the cost of incarcerating juveniles is expensive. Restorative justice saves California money by preventing juveniles from becoming part of the criminal justice system. Finally, restorative justice builds a stronger community.
Benefits to the Victims
When victims of juvenile crimes participate in restorative justice, they have an opportunity to have a safe and facilitated dialogue with the juvenile who harmed them. Victims can become invested in the process and feel empowered. Their needs are considered and acknowledged, giving them a voice in a system that often shuts out victims.
Victims can get answers to their questions and share what they believe the offender needs to do to make amends. Victims report a higher rate of victim satisfaction after undergoing the restorative justice process. Victims may be able to recover what was taken from them, whether it is a material possession or peace of mind and a sense of security. Moving on from the incident and returning to their daily lives can help victims heal.
Benefits to the Juvenile Who Offended
Restorative justice has a high rate of completion or compliance. When juveniles who are charged are engaged in a non-coercive, voluntary process, those who have offended tend to follow through on agreements they’ve participated in creating. The process also allows juveniles to apologize for their actions and express apologies. It also allows them to put the incident behind them, make amends, and return to their communities with a sense that the matter has been settled. Restorative justice provides juveniles with a quicker way to achieve justice, allowing juvenile offenders the ability to make meaningful changes in their lives.
Contact an Experienced Juvenile Justice Attorney
Has your child been charged in the Orange County juvenile justice system? If so, you’ll benefit from working with a compassionate, experienced attorney who understands the restorative justice process. Contact the Law Office of Katie Walsh today to schedule an initial, complimentary consultation to learn more about how our California juvenile defense attorney can fight for your child’s rights.