Restorative practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities.
Restorative practices are being applied in the following settings:
- K-12 and Higher Education
- Community Health
- Organizational Leadership
- Criminal Justice
- Counseling and Social Work
Restorative practices include the use of informal and formal processes that proactively build relationships and a sense of community to prevent conflict and wrongdoing. A subset of restorative practices is restorative justice. Restorative justice is a cooperative and voluntary process that involves everyone affected by a crime or incident.
Restorative justice affords those who have been harmed and those who carried out the harm the opportunity to address the offenses directly, in an environment structured with safety, support, and accountability at the forefront of the discussion. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach to making amends. It is an adaptable process that can be used in many situations to create constructive environments—in schools, workplaces, prisons, communities, and families.
Restorative Justice is a concept that views wrongdoing as a violation of people and relationships and as a disruption of the purpose of the school community. It is designed to hold offenders accountable directly to the victims and communities harmed and give victims a voice about the impact of the harm and how to repair it. These processes focus on repairing the harms caused and the needs of everyone involved.
Restorative justice processes can come in many forms to fit the needs of the situation such as mediation, conferencing or talking circles.