Restorative Justice (RJ) is a philosophical framework which views crime as an injury and justice as a process for healing to take place. RJ seeks to balance the needs of victims and communities rather than just those of the offender. The principles of RJ, such as requiring restitution for property crimes, is centuries old and can be found in the Code of Hammurabi (1700 BC) and the Old Testament. Indigenous people in New Zealand, North America and Australia have practiced principles of RJ for generations. The concept as used by the modern day criminal justice system is relatively new. The framework of RJ in modern criminal justice has been evolving since the 1970s, when early experiments using mediation between victims of crime and offenders began.
Who Can Participate in Restorative Justice?
Although this program primarily sees juvenile offenders, RJ can accomodate anyone. The State of Colorado recommends offenders 10-25 years of age be referred to an RJ program if available and appropriate.
Cases excluded from the RJ program are sexual assaults and domestic violence cases.
Referrals can be made from the community, our schools, law enforcement personnel, the District Attorney's Office, Juvenile Diversion, the Municipal Court and probation.
This program is administered through the Erie Police Department and the face-to-face meetings with all parties is performed by highly training and dedicated volunteers from our community.