What is Restorative Justice? It is a theory of justice that emphasizes the repairing of harm caused by unjust behavior. It offers an alternative to Retributive Justice (eye for an eye) by holding offenders accountable, while simultaneously trying to redeem their broken situation. It is an acknowledgment that true justice is difficult work, but that the value and dignity of all persons involved is worth the effort.
It is also the official teaching of the church that punishment for a crime, “in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: As far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2266)