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Catholic institutions refers to formalized structures carrying out the church’s mission, including parishes, dioceses, schools, religious orders, or non-profit organizations. 

Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN) is the national Catholic organization working to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice who convened and created this guide.

Catholic social teaching (CST) is a principled framework, derived from Scripture, tradition, nature, and experience, that brings the teachings of Jesus and his call to discipleship to the larger societal conversation of social justice. The principles of CST align with those of restorative justice and are offered to both people of faith and all people of goodwill. 

Circle process (also called peacemaking circles or restorative circles) is a foundational restorative practice rooted in Indigenous peacemaking traditions that can be broadly applicable in ministerial settings. 

Equity affirms that all people deserve to be treated fairly, regardless of their racial, ethnic, educational, and cultural backgrounds.

"Fratelli Tutti" is Pope Francis’ most recent papal encyclical, released in October 2020, which reflects on themes of social friendship and its implications for overcoming division and injustice through solidarity and encounter. Particular reflections on forgiveness, reconciliation, truth-telling, and memory are seen throughout this guide. 

Human dignity expresses that, because we have been created in the image and likeness of God, each of us possess inherent value and worth.

Impacted persons refers to individuals or parties who have direct involvement with the harm or injustice at hand. In cases of criminal justice, this might represent people who identify as victims/survivors of crime or who are currently or formerly incarcerated. 

Ministry group describes an organized subset of individuals with a shared commitment to live Christ’s mission attending to a particular area of need. 

Punitive/retributive justice is the dominant approach to addressing crime in the U.S. criminal legal system. It focuses on punishing the person who broke a law, as determined by the state. 

Restorative approach can refer to a formal or informal way of responding to harm or injustice that is based in core restorative justice principles. 

Restorative justice refers to the overarching philosophy and set of principles that foster approaches to harm that are rooted in relationships and repair. 

Restorative practices are particular dialogical processes among impacted parties aimed at repairing or preventing harm. Common forms include circle process, victim-offender dialogue, and community conferencing.

Solidarity is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all.

Subsidiarity is a principle of Catholic social teaching that holds that decisions or actions should not be made on a higher level when a lower level of competence would suffice.

Trauma describes the range of possible and typical responses people may have to an extreme and overwhelming event or series of events. Trauma-informed approaches to harm/injustice take into account how the whole person is impacted (emotionally, spiritually, physically, and cognitively) and deliver programs and services in a way that avoids inadvertently retraumatizing people and/or doing further harm.