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  • Writer's pictureSam Wilks

The Benefits of Restorative Justice in Reducing Crime


Instead of just punishing the offender, restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm that a crime has caused. This approach seeks to address the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and help offenders take responsibility for their actions. As a result, restorative justice may play an important role in reducing crime and improving the criminal justice system. Restorative justice may be an effective tool in reducing crime and improving public safety, however, the evidence over the last 60 years shows a substantial shortfall compared to punitive measures, that doesn't mean it shouldn't be an option.


With almost three decades in the safety and security industries the study of crime and the criminal justice system has been one of my constant interests. The traditional approach to criminal justice, which focuses on punishment and deterrence, has limitations. While punishment is an effective deterrent for most offenders, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. I believe that a more nuanced approach is necessary to address the complex causes of criminal behaviour.


Restorative justice is one such approach that when used with consent by both parties, the victim and the offender, may be effective. By focusing on repairing the harm caused by a crime, restorative justice seeks to address the underlying issues that lead to criminal behaviour. This approach may be particularly effective for nonviolent offenses, where the harm caused to the victim may not be physical but can still have significant emotional and psychological impacts.


Restorative justice places a greater emphasis on the role of the victim in the criminal justice process. Victims are given a voice and can participate in the process of repairing the harm caused by the crime. This may lead to greater satisfaction for the victim and a greater sense of accountability for the offender. I believe that giving victims a voice in the process can lead to a more effective criminal justice system.


Another benefit of restorative justice is that it can lead to better outcomes for offenders. By taking responsibility for their actions and participating in the process of repairing the harm caused by the crime, offenders may be less likely to re-offend. This is because they are forced to confront the harm caused by their actions and take steps to make amends. I believe that this approach when used without coercion, may be particularly effective for juvenile offenders, who may be more responsive to rehabilitation than punishment.


Restorative justice can also be more cost-effective than traditional approaches to criminal justice. Restorative justice may result in shorter sentences and lower recidivism rates by emphasizing repairing the harm that the crime caused rather than just punishing the offender. However, the evidence of reduced recidivism is only in location where it is optional, in those locations wher it is mandated, the opposite occurs. The opportunity to reduce the financial burden on the criminal justice system and lead to cost savings for taxpayers should be an option.


Despite these potential benefits, restorative justice is not without its limitations. Some offenders are not responsive to this approach, and punishment is necessary in some cases. Restorative justice also requires greater resources and coordination than traditional approaches to criminal justice. Since these systems are often run by a bureaucratic judiciary, there is an obvious risk of incompetence due to the unaccountable nature of public service employment in contemporary times.


Despite these challenges, I believe that the restorative justice option has the potential to be an effective tool for reducing crime and improving public safety. By addressing the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and giving victims a voice in the process, restorative justice can lead to better outcomes for both offenders and victims. I believe that this approach can be particularly effective for nonviolent offenses and juvenile offenders.


Restorative justice is an alternative approach to reducing crime that can have significant benefits for offenders, victims, and society as a whole. By focusing on repairing the harm caused by a crime rather than solely punishing the offender, restorative justice can address the complex causes of criminal behaviour and sometimes lead to better outcomes for all involved. While restorative justice is not a one-size-fits-all solution, it is an important tool in the criminal justice system that can lead to improved public safety and a more effective system. There is no "final solution" to rehabilitation of criminals, however, providing a range of options, like restorative Justice options, home detention, and incarceration, all provide valid trade-offs to gain contrition from offenders or gain effective retribution. From the author.


The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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