Restorative Justice

Howard Zehr. Justícia restauradora. Principis i pràctiques. Barcelona: ICIP-Icaria, 2011.

What does justice mean when a crime has been committed? The criminal justice that prevails in Western societies has shown that a crime is a violation of the law and that justice requires that guilt is established and a punishment imposed; in short, that miscreants ultimately get what they deserve.

Restorative justice considers crime as a violation of the law and of human relations, and focuses on the needs and obligations arising from misdeeds. The questions it asks are: Who has been harmed? What are their needs? Whose are the obligations? Providing restorative justice involves us considering the harm done to the victims and their needs, offenders being called to account to repair the damage they have done, and victims, offenders and members of the community being involved in the process.

As its title suggests, this book provides an overview of restorative justice. The author, one of the founders of restorative justice and one of the authors who has contributed most to developing the concept, outlines some of the theory and practice involved, while clarifying its principles and philosophy.