Former Stoneleigh Fellow Sangeeta Prasad authored an op-ed for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange about the need for more reparative justice in youth and criminal justice reform.
Some juvenile and criminal justice reform advocates laud restorative justice — it requires those who commit crimes to make amends, rather than merely face a prison sentence — as a potent solution to curbing crime. This model presumes that the wrongdoing is corrected when a defendant’s apology and efforts to take accountability somehow satisfy the victim. Restitution is measured by the defendant engaging in dialogue with the victim, alongside a neutral third-party, for months, if not years.
Certainly, it’s essential to make a harmed individual feel as restored as possible, but this approach does not result in true justice.