Empowering Communities: A Restorative Justice Approach

Edward Martinez-Olarte, Northeastern Illinois University

Restorative Justice is a different approach to the punish and incarerated policy of the criminal justice system in America. Through restorative justice, the community, the offender and the victim engage in a process of resolving intercommunity conflicts with the community. Restorative justice allows communities to have a voice in the reconstruction of justice within its borders. The proposed study seeks to examine restorative justice theory in practice. Restorative justice and the application of the theory would be significant because communities would be able to repair and address the problems that plague their communities. The methodology in the study will be conducted with a qualitative focus. The proposed study will examine the restorative justice program supported by the Resource Section of the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department of Cook County in Chicago, IL. I will conduct select interviews of individuals participating in the peer jury program and the victim impact panel program. The qualitative approach will provide a springboard for future research by identifying the themes and issues of the participants of the restorative justice programs in Chicago, IL. The anticipated results should find a correlation in the recidivism rates of individuals dropping due to participation in a restorative justice program.

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Updated 05/20/2006