Restorative justice is not just some pipe dream placebo–it’s a time and money saver and stats don’t lie: recidivism drops significantly when restorative justice processes are employed. -District Attorney Stanley Garnett (Boulder, CO)

The modern day movement of restorative justice continues to evolve at state and community levels. Jurisdictions have responded to juvenile justice system discontent with revisions to legislative and policy agendas. These responses have effected significant systemic changes by incorporating the victim, offender and community-centric principles in state laws. Further, national legislation currently proposed seeks to lead our country to a promise for America’s youth.

Restorative justice, realized in many states and localities as a new framework, views and responds to youth crime with a different lens. The ultimate goal of restorative justice is to repair the harm caused by the crime or wrongful occurrence, while balancing the roles and needs of the victim, offender and community. This approach also seeks to ensure public safety, hold offenders accountable for their crime or wrongdoing, and develop competencies for the offender.

If political will is any indicator of a significant change in course as it concerns our approach to justice, then the United States is amidst one of the most significant transformations that could keep us from collectively sailing off the edge of the earth. The tide of justice being called for is one of accountability, data that cannot be denied, and a hope for the future of this country as it steers away from its global reputation as the incarceration nation.