A Restorative Justice Yardstick
Do victims experience justice?
- Do victims have sufficient opportunities to tell their truth to relevant listeners?
- Do victims receive needed compensation or restitution?
- Is the injustice adequately acknowledged?
- Are victims sufficiently protected against further violation?
- Does the outcome adequately reflect the severity of the offense?
- Do victims receive adequate information about the crime, the offender, and the legal process?
- Do victims have a voice in the legal process?
- Is the experience of justice adequately public?
- Do victims receive adequate support from others?
- Do victims’ families receive adequate assistance and support?
- Are other needs—material, psychological, and spiritual—being addressed?
Do offenders experience justice?
- Are offenders encouraged to understand and take responsibility for what they have done?
- Are misattributions challenged?
- Are offenders given encouragement and opportunities to make things right?
- Are offenders given opportunities to participate in the process?
- Are offenders encouraged to change their behavior?
- Is there a mechanism for monitoring or verifying changes?
- Are offenders’ needs being addressed?
- Do offenders’ families receive support and assistance?
Is the victim-offender relationship addressed?
- Is there an opportunity for victims and offenders to meet, if appropriate?
- Is there an opportunity for victims and offenders to exchange information about the event and about one another?
Are community concerns being taken into account?
- Is the process and the outcome sufficiently public?
- Is community protection being addressed?
- Is there a need for restitution or a symbolic action for the community?
- Is the community represented in some way in the legal process?
Is the future addressed?
- Is there provision for solving the problems that led to this event?
- Is there provision for solving problems caused by this event?
- Have future intentions been addressed?
- Are there provisions for monitoring and verifying outcomes and for problem solving?
Source: Howard Zehr, Changing Lenses
(Scottsdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press,1990).