Is Restorative Justice Right For Me?

Two Men By Lake

Are you someone who has been harmed and thought:

  • “I just want to have a conversation with the person who harmed me, to find out why they did it.”
  • “I want the person to admit what they did, but I don’t know if I want them to go to jail.”
  • “I want the person to get help for their issues so they don’t do this again.”
  • “I want to tell the person exactly how this affected me.”
  • “I don’t want to testify in court or be a part of a legal process.”

Are you someone who is responsible for harm (or been charged with a crime) and thought:

  • “I really wish I could say, ‘I’m sorry’ directly to the person I hurt.”
  • “I feel guilty about what I did and want them to know that I want to change.”
  • “I wish I could have a conversation with the person I hurt and find out what would help them the most.”
  • “I want to make amends for what happened.”
  • “I need help to change some habits and behaviors that got me here.”

What are the risks of a restorative process?

  • Revisiting the experience again can be challenging or painful
  • The other person might not be as sympathetic to you as you had hoped
  • Face-to-face conversation and making decisions together can be hard–some people find it easier to simply let the court decide, or to “do the time” and forget about what happened

How can I benefit from being a part of a restorative process?

  • You can ask for what you need to move forward
  • You receive support to prevent the situation from happening again
  • You gain a better understanding of the other person’s experience, and they will have a better understanding of yours
  • You can play an active part in deciding when, where, and how to solve the problem, and who else to have involved
  • There is an opportunity to make amends, heal, repair relationships, or find closure
  • You avoid the potential costs, indignities, and inflexibilities of the legal system
  • You get to be part of a growing restorative justice movement that has been shown around the world to improve accountability, public safety, resilience, equality, and self-reliant communities

To find out more or make a referral, please call CVCJ at (434) 260-0322 or email