Restorative justice is an approach to justice where offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, "to repair the harm they've done” and build healthy relationships which leads to reintegration into a community. It moves the focus of seeing crime as one committed against the state to one in which the crime is harmful to individuals, families and community. Its goal is not one of punishment, but of restoration of relationship for the victim, the offender and the community.
As women and mothers, we can be models in restorative justice in how we love, care and teach our children, how we assist them to take responsibility, how we live the gospel of love for our families, the stranger, our enemies and ourselves. Jesus called us friends. He leveled relationships. He saw the value of each and every one of us. He asked us to love all. Restorative justice is based on these core values.
There are many opportunities to volunteer in the programs and services in which restorative practice is basic to the service. Mennonite Central Committee and faith groups often are looking for volunteers to become friends, to visit, to love and restore to community the alienated, forgotten or strangers. Often it is in these loving acts, the victim or the offender finds support to turn their life around. It is a most rewarding service. I am often humbled by the love shown to me by those who I often misjudge as having little to offer. As I love I am loved in return.
For more information you can search Restorative justice through one of the internet search sites, or contact Canadian Mennonite University or Mennonite Central Committee offices in your province.
To read the complete article go to http://www.menonnitechurch.ca/mwc/resources.htm