Guiding Principles & Values
A basic principle of restorative justice is that crime is a violation of people, not just a violation of law. One might think of crime as a tear in the fabric of respectful relationships. Real lives are affected and the impact of a criminal event can be felt widely. As crime causes harm, it also creates specific needs and obligations. Offenders have obligations to address that harm and to repair the “tear in the fabric of community” wherever possible.
Our Principles
When seeking justice, the people most affected should be given a chance to have a say in what happens. So we engage the offender, the victim, their supporters, and other community members in a process that asks:
  • What harm occurred? To whom?
  • What needs to be done to repair the harm?
  • How can offenders be held constructively accountable?
  • Who is responsible for this repair?

Sometimes we hear that this process is simply a “common sense” approach to working with crime in communities. This is true, but working through the concepts of harm, needs, and repair in an explicit way means that we draw a direct line between the event of crime and the people who were affected, rather than between the event of crime and the laws or rules that were broken.

Our Values
In all our encounters – whether with offenders, victims, or community members – we value respect, honesty, integrity, responsibility, and accountability.