Restorative Justice (RJ) is an approach to conflict that focuses on repairing harm and creating a space for open communication, relationship building, healing, and understanding. RJ provides a way for those impacted by conflict to be a part of finding solutions that meet their needs and promote community safety and well-being.
The Embrace RJ in Schools definition for Restorative Justice in Schools is: “RJ is a set of practices and values that holistically prevents and repairs harm, builds community and relationships resulting in a positive supportive school climate.”
RJ is the overarching philosophy that encompasses Restorative Practices (RP) in Schools and therefore RP will be the primary focus for this website as you progress down the road to a, Restorative School.
It is essential and valuable to understand the roots and the history of RJ. In this section, “What is Restorative Justice,” we share a bit of this history as well a variety of definitions and renditions of what RJ is. RJ is a needs-based philosophy therefore may look slightly different based on the needs of the community—be it a neighborhood, the juvenile justice system, at a school. This and fact that RJ evolves based on changing social structures our society, is reflected in some of the varied thoughts about Restorative Justice. We have captured some of these interpretations of RJ in this section but note and the foundational themes of repairing harm and building relationship remain throughout.
We encourage you to seek out additional information on your own to honor the significance, breadth and depth of Restorative Justice that is too big for one website.