The Pros (and Some Cons) of Restorative Justice
Date:  07-21-2016

Studies find those charged with a crime who participate in a restorative justice program have a low recidivism rate but minorities seem to be left out of the process
From Pew Charitable Trusts

Victims and Offenders Come Together to Make Their Own Justice Two teenagers walked into McGuckin Hardware in downtown Boulder, Colorado, grabbed a $600 power saw, and shoved it into a backpack, only to be apprehended by a security guard in the parking lot.

Both teens were charged with theft. Then their paths diverged. One teen’s parents hired a high-priced Denver attorney to fight the charges in court, beginning a legal process that dragged on for months. The other opted for “restorative justice.”

As part of that process, the second teen sat down with his parents, someone from the hardware store and a facilitator to talk about what he did and how each of the parties had been affected by it. After a few hours, the group came up with a plan for the teen to make amends: make good grades, meet weekly with a counselor and pay back his half of the stolen saw.

“The whole encounter was very positive for him. He felt bad. He met with people from McGuckin. He moved on,” said Boulder district attorney Stan Garnett. “He didn’t spend time in prison and he didn’t spend time meeting other kids always coming in and out of the system. Read more