Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community. The approach is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the State. Victims, offenders, and community members often feel that justice does not adequately meet their needs due to overload of cases registered and limited number of courts and corresponding authorities. The long wait for justice often leaves the victims and their families frustrated and have them seek alternate forms of justice like taking the law into their own hands. Stakeholders involved in the criminal justice process – police, judiciary, lawyers, prosecutors, probation and parole officers, prison staff – frequently express a sense of frustration as well.
In restorative approaches to healing:

  • Victims/Victim’s Family take an active role in the process
  • try to understand in what ways they have been harmed and how they would like to be compensated
  • Offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, “to repair the harm they’ve done – by apologizing, returning stolen property, or community service”
  • Help the offender to avoid future offenses
  • It is useful when concerned/ affected people:
    ● Need to address an experience that resulted in harm to someone
    ● Want to work together as a team
    ● Have a disagreement
    ● Wish to share difficulties
    ● Want to learn from each other/ Need to make decisions

    Many a time, an acceptable resolution to the issue is found during the discussions, through sharing and respectful listening by all parties. The offender may acknowledge the harm done and take action to compensate/ apologize/ demonstrably alter behaviour/ perform community service etc thereby restoring justice at a personal and community level.

    Some members of the Enfold Team have received training in Restorative Justice from
    Ms Sujatha Baliga and Ms Nuri Nusrat from the Restorative Justice Project, USA and from Ms Sonya Shah of the Ahimsa Collective, USA.

    Enfold is applying Restorative Approaches in the following contexts/ places from 2018 onwards:

  • Observation Homes and Special Homes for children in conflict with law.
  • Prisons
  • Handling conflicts at workplace/school
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Training of stakeholders
  • To initiate this work in your organization/ community or to learn more about Restorative Approaches, please contact info@enfoldindia.org