Restorative Justice: What's in it for Elected Officials

This page is archived material and is no longer updated. It may contain outdated information and broken links.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. The future will involve victims and community more directly in the justice process. Restorative justice principles offer a template to structure that evolution.
  2. A number of studies of restorative practices (restitution, mediation, family group conferences, victim impact panels) indicate that recidivism decreases.
  3. Giving victims choices at all stages returns a sense of control to them, and decreases fear. They (and offenders) rate RJ approaches as fairer than the criminal justice process, and report greater satisfaction.
  4. In some research studies (at least one county in N. Carolina) a reduction in court caseload can be measured when victim offender mediation is offered.
  5. With costs of corrections encroaching on other funding needs, with little to show for it in terms of citizen satisfaction or lowered recidivism, a more innovative approach is needed.
  6. The politically powerful victim movement can be allies for positive system change.
  7. All elected officials have some responsibility to improve the justice system, and RJ offers a common umbrella under which many disciplines and the community can work together.
Date Created: December 5, 2007