RESTORATIVE JUSTICE APPROACH:
A Restorative Justice approach is a response to crime and wrongdoing that empowers a group of people affected by an incident (victims, offenders and their supporters) to collectively decide how to repair the harm. Many types of programs are based on Restorative Justice principles, including victim-offender dialogue, impact panels, and restorative circles of all kinds.
New York Peace Institute runs two main Restorative Justice initiatives: Criminal Court Mediation and Community Conferencing.
CRIMINAL COURT MEDIATION:
New York Peace Institute offers mediation services for issues that include, but are not limited to, harassment, assaults, criminal trespassing/mischief, property damage, menacing, noise and debts. In addition, participants can address the impact the dispute has had and form plans for their future interactions including decisions about an order of protection. The Criminal Court Mediation Program primarily serves the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s office which refers adult misdemeanor cases to mediation prior to the final court date. For more detailed information on the Criminal Court mediation in Brooklyn, click here.
Community Conferencing is a restorative circle process that involves more participants than a mediation and is available for many types of cases, including community disputes, criminal matters involving youth, and school related conflicts. The main themes of a community conference are those of the restorative model. For more questions on Community Conferencing, click here.
- Taking Responsibility: persons who have caused harm have a chance to take responsibility for their actions in a dialogue with the persons who been affected by those actions.
- Understanding the Impact: through a circle process, individuals have the opportunity to explain how they’ve been affected by the incident. The person who has caused the harm can better understand the broader impact of their actions on people, themselves and the community.
- Repairing the Harm: The Community Conference provides a chance to repair the harm of the incident and minimize the possibility of recurrence. All participants have a voice in any agreement that is reached. Those harmed have the opportunity to say what they need in order to move on and those who harmed them can take ownership in mending the hurt.
For any questions regarding Restorative Justice Initiatives at New York Peace Institute, email us!