Restorative Justice Initiative is a citywide, multi-sector organizing and advocacy project seeking to increase the visibility of, and access to, restorative justice processes for all New Yorkers.
Restorative justice is poised to become a mainstream practice in New York City’s criminal justice sector, schools, neighborhoods and communities. Restorative justice will be widely recognized as an effective, evidence-based alternative to retributive criminal justice policies and punitive school discipline, capable of reducing violence and fostering public safety. When embraced more broadly, restorative justice and restorative practices will build empathy, restore dignity, enable healing, and strengthen communities as we strive toward a just society in which all lives have equal value.
We believe that all life is interconnected and that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. We believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we have ever done. We believe that justice is more likely to be achieved when the inquiry following a crime focuses on the resulting harm to human relationships rather than on the rules that have been broken. We believe in a justice system in which all people directly impacted by a crime or incident of harm are involved in the process of making things right. We believe in supporting the needs of offenders and removing barriers to successful reentry while also encouraging acceptance of responsibility for harm caused and making appropriate amends and/or reparations. We believe that justice requires listening and responding to the needs of victims of crime and supporting victims on their healing journey. We believe that all victims of crime should have access to restorative processes upon request. We believe that effective restorative processes are non-coercive and that all participants must be given a meaningful choice to participate or not. We believe that children learn best when their social and emotional needs are met.