Is the Restorative Justice Model the Best Model for Criminal Justice?
For many centuries before courts, justice was decided on the basis of repairing the harm done through the criminal act and making amends to the victim. If you assaulted a person, you may have to pay the family a horse and two cows. This reparation was more favorable than blood feuds. As justice evolved into a judicial system, the courts retained the idea of restitution, but leaned more towards sanctions and punishment. Nevertheless, many cultures (including our Native American culture) have continued the path of restoration – for the victim as well as society. This week you will have the opportunity to examine Restorative Justice. Do you think it has a place in the American criminal justice system? How might it be incorporated into our criminal courts?