Restorative Justice

Pope Francis has called us "to make compassion, love, mercy and solidarity a true way of life, a rule of conduct in our relationships with one another" (2016 World Day of Peace Message). A Catholic approach to criminal and restorative justice then recognizes that the dignity of the human person applies to both victims of crime and those who have committed harm. Justice includes more than punishment. It must include mercy and restoration. A simplistic punitive approach to justice can leave victims of crime with feelings of neglect, abandonment and anger making reconciliation and healing difficult. A restorative justice approach is more comprehensive and addresses the needs of victims, the community and those responsible for causing harm through healing, education, rehabilitation and community support. - USCCB

Bible Lessons

USCCB

"We are still a long way from the time when our conscience can be certain of having done everything possible to prevent crime and to control it effectively so that it no longer does harm and, at the same time, to offer to those who commit crimes a way of redeeming themselves and making a positive return to society. If all those in some way involved in the problem tried to . . . develop this line of thought, perhaps humanity as a whole could take a great step forward in creating a more serene and peaceful society."  —Pope John Paul II, July 9, 2000

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