Restorative Justice

Two Kinds Of Justice Intertwined

Criminal justice addresses the public dimensions of crime:

Societal interests

Societal obligations


Restorative justice addresses the private dimensions of crime:

Victim needs

Offender obligations

Offender needs

Community needs

Community obligations


Victim Needs


Why the crime happened

What has happened since the crime

Truth telling

Telling their story of the crime to the offender

Giving an impact statement for offender sentencing


Involvement in the criminal justice resulting from the crime


Offender making right the harm

Support services for:

Physical healing

Mental healing

Emotional healing


Offender Obligations
(As fits each individual)


Taking responsibility for their crime

Addressing the harms they did

Developing empathy for their victim(s)

Community service (20 to 30 hours based on the offense)

Shoplifting prevention classes

Random alcohol and drug screening

Other programming as directed by the case manager


Offender Needs
(As fits each individual)

Recognition and healing for any harms that contributed to the criminal behavior

Treatment for addictions and/or other problems

Enhancement of personal competencies, such as literacy training

AODA assessments and treatment program

Mental health assessments/counseling, on-going treatment

Financial wellness programs

Working with a mentor

Reintegration into the community

Other programming as directed by the case manager


Community Needs

Attention to community concerns about the crime

Opportunities to create a sense of community and mutual accountabilty


Community Obligations

For all community members, fostering:

physical health

mental health

emotional health

Creating opportunities for personal success


Reducing The Need For Restorative Justice

My childhood was horrific, but other children endure worse than I did. All children with horrific childhoods grow up having difficult coping with normal life. Some of us harm ourselves. I was a compulsive overeater for 25 years. Some of us harm others. I screamed at my daughter until I finally was able to put physical, mental, and emotional clues together and face the cause of the horror. Other children grow up to harm both themselves with drugs and alcohol and others with violence and crime.

One community obligation is to pay attention to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Paying attention to ACEs will go a long way toward addressing physical, mental, and emotional needs in your community. Recognizing the consequences of unmet needs will reduce the stereotypes that stop ripples of success. When stereotypes deny opportunities to people with high ACE scores, fewer ripples of success exist to reach you. Taking care of others creates more opportunities for you.


Bootstraps Proverb Poster

Everyone benefits from each ripple of success.



“ACEs 101”
ACEs Too High News
No Date

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Violence Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Adverse childhood experiences, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and emotional intelligence in partner aggression”
Rachel M. Swopes , Daniel V. Simonet, Anna E. Jaffe, Robert P. Tett, and Joanne L. Davis
Violence and Victims
Volume 28(3), 2013: pages 513-530

“Got Your ACE Score?”
ACEs Too High News
No Date

“The Employment of Ex-Offenders is Important to Everyone”
Project Return
The Huffington PostI
March 25, 2013

“What’s behind record exonerations for wrongful convictions”
Henry Gass
Christian Science Monitor
February 5, 2016


© Paula M. Kramer, 2017
All rights reserved.
Updated October 26, 2016.