Restorative Justice: What's in it for Law Enforcement

This page is archived material and is no longer updated. It may contain outdated information and broken links. The material presented on these pages is the product of five regional symposia held on restorative justice between June 1997 and January 1998.

  1. Minor cases from problem addresses (multiple calls in previous year) are more effectively handled by referral to a community dispute resolution center than by criminal justice processing (Harrisburg, PA). This puts police back on patrol faster and does not require subsequent court time.
  2. With police-based family group conferences, there was a reduction of 27% in crime. (Wagga Wagga, Australia).
  3. Giving victims choices at all stages returns a sense of control to them, and decreases fear.
  4. Community policing is a natural partner to restorative justice philosophy and programs. Both emphasize problem solving and viewing the big picture. Some restorative techniques, like family group conferencing and community sentencing boards, can help police share in a structured way power and control with the community.
  5. Supervised inmate crime repair crews can help secure a victims home (fix broken doors, windows, etc.) and other property after a crime, to ease the task of the officer on the scene and protect the household from further victimization.
  6. The politically powerful victim movement can be allies for positive system change.
  7. All justice professionals have some responsibility to improve the system, and RJ offers a common umbrella under which many disciplines and the community can work together.
  8. Some restorative justice practices (like victim impact panels) can work even if the perpetrator is not apprehended.
Date Created: December 5, 2007