The Australian criminal justice system has come under criticism for incarcerating growing numbers of people. With recidivism rates closing in on fifty percent – meaning nearly half of those released from prison are back within 2 years – many believe a punitive system that produces “revolving door” criminals can’t be the answer.
But, there are alternatives.
Restorative justice is an approach to dealing with crime that has a focus on rehabilitating the offender through reconciliation with the victim, and other family members and friends. The practice gives the victim a voice in the justice process, which empowers them, as well as providing the offender with an understanding of the impact of their actions and a direct avenue to make amends.