A New Story of Justice

Mass incarceration is one of the most painful issues in our society. Clearly, we are approaching crime and how to deal with those who have committed a crime in the wrong way. No wonder people are getting interested in a different way altogether: Restorative Justice.

The indigenous people of New Zealand and other areas worldwide knew this; that instead of saying to offenders, “Hey get out of here” we should be saying “Hey, get in here.” Feeding our desire for revenge gets us nowhere; nor does meting out punishment. Restorative Justice is far better for the one involved in the crime, those immediately harmed by it, and the whole society that was torn, to that extent, by that wrong.

Punishment, however “just” it may seem, works by returning injury for injury. If the crime was a kind of violence – and in a sense it always is – so is the punishment. No wonder it isn’t working!

Restorative Justice embodies the principles of the exact opposite – nonviolence. This animation is an introduction to the main principles of Restorative Justice, an “upstream” solution that improves the whole social fabric and makes harmful behaviors less likely the more we practice it.

This animation is part of a series on Nonviolence and the New Story, a collaboration between the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the Fenwick Foundation.