Paradigm Shift

“What’s fundamental about restorative justice (practices) is a shift away from thinking about laws being broken, who broke the law and how we punish the people who broke the laws.  There’s a shift to: there was harm caused, or there’s disagreement or dispute, there’s conflict, and how do we repair the harm, address the conflict, meet the needs, so that relationships and community can be repaired and restored.  It’s a different orientation.  It is a shift.”  -Cheryl Graves, Community Justice for Youth Institute

                Paradigm Shift: relationship based

Traditional Approach

Restorative Approach

School and rules violated

People and relationships violated

Justice focuses on establishing guilt

Justice identifies needs and obligations

Accountability = punishment

Accountability = understanding impact, repairing harm

Justice directed at offender, victim ignored

Offender, victim and school all have direct roles in justice process

Rules ad intent outweigh whether outcome is positive/negative

Offender is responsible for harmful behavior, repairing harm and working toward positive outcomes

No opportunity for remorse or amends

Opportunity given for amends and expression of remorse