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About Restorative Justice

What is Restorative Justice?
Traditional criminal justice is a vital system of our society that helps to protect us against serious offenders, but it can be a costly approach when used to address the epidemic of petty theft that hurts our communities. While traditional criminal justice systems focus primarily on punishing an offender for past behavior when someone breaks a law, Restorative Justice solutions for petty crimes focus on long term problem-solving and positive outcomes by involving the offender, the victim and the community in the process of making amends for an incident and ensuring it does not happen again in the future.
 
Restorative Justice solutions developed by former justice system professionals, such as the shoplifting and loss prevention programs offered by Turning Point Justice, are tailored to ensure compliance with traditional justice system practices and procedures across local community and state laws. This ensures that these legally-compliant restorative justice solutions complement existing justice practices so that that police officers and justice system professionals such as prosecutors and judges can focus their time and resources on crimes that present more harm to our communities.



Restorative Justice and Offenders
In Restorative Justice solutions, the offender is an active participant in learning about why the incident harmed their community and what caused them to act wrongly so that they can avoid those situations in the future. The offender also makes restitution for their actions to ensure they take accountability for their actions and play a proactive role in making things right.



Making It Right
The shoplifting and loss prevention restorative justice solutions offered by Turning Point Justice are focused on ensuring offenders learn that shoplifting hurts their communities. Most people who shoplift are not hardened criminals – in fact, many are surprised to learn that shoplifters are our friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Usually something happens to trigger a first time shoplifter to steal from a retailer, and the Turning Point Justice education programs offered by NASP help offenders identify those triggers, make amends to the retailer, and develop a plan to avoid shoplifting again in the future.
 
By addressing shoplifting through restorative justice solutions rather than the criminal justice system, our communities stay strong by fixing problems and ensuring one-time offenders avoid a criminal record that would otherwise keep them from being positive community members. A criminal record can often mean that a person cannot obtain a wide variety of jobs, or secure a loan for a car or a home, leading to bigger problems in the future. Restorative Justice fixes the small problems before they become big issues.
 
The chart below outlines some differences in approach between traditional justice and restorative justice solutions for petty crimes:

 
Concept Traditional Justice System   Restorative Justice
View of harm Crime is an act against the state and the state is the only legitimate power to punish the offender.   Crime is an act against a victim and the community and they should be involved in the resolution of the matter.
Accountability Accountability focuses on punishment of the offender over restitution to the victim.   Accountability focuses on offender responsibility and restitution to the victim and the community.
Focus on outcome Focus on past events.   Focus on problem solving.
Victim participation Victims are peripheral to the process.   Victims are central to resolving the problem.
Offender Participation Offender participation is discouraged.  They have others speak for them and are discouraged from taking responsibility.   Offenders directly participate in the problem solving effort.

To learn more about Turning Point Justice solutions for Restorative Justice, you can read about our C. A. Partnership Program offered in partnership with the National Association of Loss Prevention (NASP).

Read about how Turning Point Justice helps law enforcement and justice systems.

Read about Turning Point Justice cloud-based loss prevention solutions for retailers.
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