Restorative Justice

After viewing the the expose on the Restorative Justice Retreat and Program at Massachusetts State Prison -MCI Norfolk, you see that the essence of restorative justice is to “make things right.” This means identifying the victim’s harm, holding the offender accountable for the harm, and to the extent possible, restore interpersonal relationships. At its core, restorative justice is about making amends, forgiveness and reintegration. For the victims it is said:


Restorative methods give victims a chance to meet offenders and tell them how they were affected, physically, emotionally, and financially and to get answers to their questions about the wrongdoing and the offender. By participating in the restorative process, they can regain a sense of empowerment. Many victims report that after meeting with the offender they became less fearful about being re-victimized.

For the Offenders

The offender learns first hand from the victim about the impact his actions had on her and allows the offender to apologize and make amends. Another benefit is that the offender plays an active role in the resolution of the wrong rather than just passively accepting punishment or reprimand.

After watching this video, do you believe Restorative Justice programs in prisons work? Or do you think they do more harm than good? Do you think an inmate who is serving a life sentence for murder should be allowed to meet with the family of his/her victim? Do you think it is good for the victim to meet with the perpetrator of the crime? or is this re-victimization?

Outline your thoughts.

Remember there are no right or wrong answers here. Just your opinion. Support your beliefs.

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