Restorative Justice Beyond Crime: A Vision to Guide and Sustain our Lives

Di Howard Zehr

In: Philosophical Insights for a Theory of Restorative Justice XLVIII , No. 2 ( 2019 )

Sezione Saggi / Articles


In this paper Howard Zehr, widely considered the contemporary initiator of the debate on Restorative Justice, draws from some cases to present the core principles and values of this approach to justice. These lead to the starting questions of Restorative Justice that constitute the beginning of every restorative process and contrast a widespread conception of criminal justice. Finally, he tries to expand the reach of RJ by introducing the guidelines to bring restorative principles and values into our everyday lives. Namely: 1) Take relationships seriously, recognizing you are one part of a web of people, institutions and the environment; 2) Be aware of the impact of your actions on others and the world around you; 3) Take responsibility for injuries you have caused – acknowledge and try to repair harm; 4) Treat everyone with respect, including those who offend you; 5) Whenever possible, involve people in decisions that affect them; 6) View conflicts in your life as opportunities; 7) Listen to others deeply and compassionately – try to understand even when you disagree; 8) Engage in dialogue with others even when that’s difficult – remain open to learning from them; 9) Be cautious about imposing your ‘truths’ and views on other people and situations; 10) Sensitively confront everyday injustices such as sexism, racism and classism.