Restorative Justice Dialogue Resources

Restorative justice is a victim-centered response to crime that provides opportunities for those most directly affected by crime - the victim, the offender, their families, and representatives of the community - to be directly involved in responding to the harm caused by the crime. Specific examples of restorative justice may include: victim panels that speak to offenders, sentencing circles, victim intervention programs, family group conferencing, victim offender mediation and dialogue, peacemaking circles, community reparative boards before which offenders appear, offender competency development programs, victim empathy classes for offenders, victim directed and citizen involved community service by the offender, community-based support groups for crime victims, and community-based support groups for offenders.

The most widely utilized and extensively researched restorative justice approaches are those involving some type of dialogue between victims, offenders, and often family members, and other support people. These approaches include: victim offender mediation (also referred to as victim offender conferencing, victim offender dialogue, or victim offender reconciliation), group conferencing (also referred to as family group conferencing, community conferencing, or restorative group conferencing), circles (also referred to as peacemaking, talking, healing, or sentencing circles, depending on their purpose), and a number of hybrids, often involving surrogate victims.