The principles of restorative justice are indeed prophetic ones as they provide a framework for doing the work that God has called us to do with both victims and offenders.
Restorative justice became more widely known in the last century through encounter programs with crime victims and offenders – highlighting an alternative to retributive justice. Today, restorative practices and approaches are deepening within educational institutions, faith communities and societies.
…In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and
vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care
and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the
community as a whole. Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority,
which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self, and community.
When such relationships are violated or broken through crime,
opportunities are created to make things right.
(¶164H,The Book of Discipline ofThe United Methodist Church).
Key principles of restorative justice include:
- A repair of the damage or a righting of the wrong to those harmed
- A path of real accountability – making things right in so far as possible – with those harmed and the disrupted community
- Healing and restoration
- Through engagement of the parties involved
Restorative Practices – Although gaining in widespread awareness during recent decades, many restorative processes for engagement are rooted in ancient practices. The circle process is one of those.
- Conflict & Communion: Reconciliation & Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table
- The Journey: Forgiveness, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation
Restorative justice principles with the United Methodist Church’s judicial processes:
- Chapter 8 in the Revised Administrative and Judicial Procedures Manual
- Just Resolution and Restorative Justice Principles in the Complaint Procedure of The United Methodist Church