Despite the term being coined in the 70s, Restorative Justice is still a burgeoning field with tremendous potential to change our criminal justice system. Alongside the practical applications of RJ to wrongdoing in our country, there is also the work of fundamentally changing how we feel about people who commit crimes and understanding how our response reflects our values.
Restorative Justice Fund offers valuable training to criminal justice stakeholders, community groups, government staffers, and non-profit organizations to enable them to understand the benefit of RJ practices and begin the work of shifting beliefs regarding crime, conflict, punishment, and healing.
Despite the decades-long uptick in arrests, prosecutions, and incarcerations in the US, we are still lackluster in our effort to understand who is coming into our criminal justice system, for what, and what happens during the course of generations of criminal justice involvement.
Restorative Justice Fund helps jurisdictions and criminal justice stakeholders understand trends in crime and criminal justice policy by diving deep into their data. Much of the spotlight is given to the back end of criminal justice - recidivism, incarceration, and reentry. We focus on data found at the front end - risk factors related to health and economics, demographics, geographics, and sophisticated mapping - to empower justice stakeholders to plan and respond to wrongdoing in a restorative and compassionate way.
Despite growing interest in criminal justice reform, there remains a vacuum in terms of practical, restorative solutions to our most intractable justice issues. Restorative Justice Fund provides opportunities for stakeholders to look at the data that is being collected to design and deploy groundbreaking restorative programs that promote efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and equity. These programs can be implemented at
- the front end of the justice system, either before someone is arrested or charged with a crime.
- in the middle, such as in a courtroom before trial or at sentencing.
- at the back end of the justice system, when a person is in prison or returns to society after incarceration.