What are the Benefits of RJ for the Referring Agency?
Compared with typical prosecution:
You have more influence over the outcome.
- In a circle process, your role is not just to report the basic facts of the crime, but also to talk about the nuances—matters beyond the black and white. You might know, for instance, that the people affected by the crime had been targeted previously and were understandably nervous. You could speak to the demeanor of the responsible party on the scene.
- You can contribute ideas for how the harm can be repaired: local sites for community service, for example, or a particular take on how to make amends.
You help make the response to crime local.
- In the circle, you help represent the community. You have important insights about community norms and sentiments.
You can be of greater support to the victim.
- You’re in a unique position to present a restorative justice option to a victim. That can be of immense significance to victims at a time when they need options. And because you’ll be engaged from start to finish, and not just reporting back on what happened in court, you’ll help us keep the victim’s needs at the forefront throughout.
You can engage more meaningfully with those who did harm/committed the crime.
- You can lend your personal story to the process: what was it like for you to respond to the crime? Stories like that lend dimension to – and often engender greater respect for – police work.
- You work (and maybe even live) in the same community with those affected by the crime. Engaging in restorative justice can help improve relations with community members.