This Salish Sea Bioneers Meet-Up, from 6 to 9 pm on July 8 at Impact Hub Seattle, will feature Tom Ewell facilitating a discussion on Restorative Justice.
Tom Ewell has been working to support Restorative Justice for the past twenty years. Most recently he chaired a Restorative Justice Task Force for Island County. He is now working on creating a Restorative Justice Collaborative for the state of Washington.
Many are already aware of the Restorative Justice (or more currently, Restorative Practice) paradigm, but here is a brief summary of the concept:
In the criminal justice field Restorative Justice began as an alternative to retributive (punishment based) justice. So instead of asking what law is broken and what is the punishment for breaking that law, restorative justice asks what harm has been done and how might we heal the harm, which essentially shifts the emphasis of attention and concern over to the victim.
Clearly when injustice is committed there is a societal need to respond to that injustice and hold offenders accountable. The restorative justice model attempts to meet this need by including a combination of victim, offender and community in an effort to meet the need of addressing the harm done and healing the breach of trust and community the offense created. Restorative practices are now being developed in an expanded area of institutions (schools, workplaces, government) and communities.