With modern restorative justice (RJ) taking hold through grassroots movements and evolved in businesses, colleges, public schools, and criminal justice systems, a great debate rises concerning the implementation of RJ with cases of violence. The argument is valid as scholars have identified the potential for victims to be re-victimized or manipulated. The lasting effects of this traumatization could be detrimental and inhibit the utilization of RJ if not employed at the appropriate time. However, if facilitators are attentive, implementing RJ is cases of violence may be more beneficial than first perceived.
This article explores the historicity and origins of RJ in indigenous cultures and expounds on its potential to provide a positive impact to issues such as overrepresentation of incarcerated Africa-Americans and overcrowding of U.S. prison systems. There is also an exploration of the most recent research studies providing a historical transition of RJ’s usage with violent offenders. The article culminates to suggest that given the empirical instances in which RJ was successfully implemented with violent offenses, facilitators can invoke RJ in tandem with the traditional justice system without jeopardizing the victim, allowing the involved stakeholders to reap from the benefits of restorative justice.
Keywords: mass-incarceration, offenses, over-representation, restorative justice, violence