Restorative Justice

It is 4:38 p.m. on a cold January day in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Emma, a 34-year-old fifth-grade teacher, exits the elementary school where she works to a nearly empty parking lot. As she approaches her car, she unlocks the doors with the key fob and places her laptop and purse in the back seat. She walks around to the driver’s side, opens the door, and gets in. Before she can close the door, two people approach her. One is a 15-year-old teenager named Dante, and the other is a 21-year-old adult named Jordan. Dante yells, “Give me the keys or you’re dead.” Emma initially protests but then notices that Jordan has a gun. Jordan becomes impatient and hits Emma in the head with the gun. Dante and Jordan pull the disoriented and bleeding Emma out of the car and onto a nearby grassy area. Then they speed away in her car.


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What would happen to Dante and Jordan using a traditional adversarial approach to justice? To what degree would the process and outcomes be different using a restorative justice approach? Is one approach better than the other? This week, you differentiate between the adversarial and restorative approaches to justice and consider the pros and cons of each. Then you reflect on how your own views align with a restorative justice approach and whether you would support the approach as a crime victim.

Distinguish between restorative justice and adversarial approaches

Analyze the pros and cons of restorative justice and adversarial approaches

Analyze personal and professional views on restorative justice

Discussion: Restorative Justice and Adversarial Systems

The adversarial approach to justice involves the apprehension, adjudication, punishment, and, at times, rehabilitation of an offender, with little to no input from the victim. Conversely, the restorative justice approach is less rigid and formulaic and encourages input from the victim.

In this Discussion, you examine the underlying principles of restorative justice and how they differ from the traditional adversarial approach. You also consider the pros and cons of each approach.

Post a response that addresses the following:

What are the underlying principles of restorative justice?

How do these principles differ from those associated with the traditional, adversarial approach?

What are the pros and cons of each approach?


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