For many centuries before courts, justice was decided on the basis of repairing the harm done through the criminal act and making amends to the victim. If you assaulted a person, you may have to pay the family a horse and two cows. This reparation was more favorable than blood feuds. As justice evolved into a judicial system, the courts retained the idea of restitution, but leaned more towards sanctions and punishment. Nevertheless, many cultures (including our Native American culture) have continued the path of restoration – for the victim as well as society. This week you will have the opportunity to examine Restorative Justice. Do you think it has a place in the American criminal justice system? How might it be incorporated into our criminal courts?
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Is the Restorative Justice Model the Best Model for Criminal Justice?