Yes, we are all pilgrims on the journey. Any good that we can do for another comes back to us a hundredfold. Jesus is in prison as well as outside the barbed wire fence. Can we answer Jesus’s invitation to visit him inside? Not only can our ministry help heal our brothers and sisters, many having been victims themselves before becoming “wounded wounders,” but we also are taking another transformative step along our own personal journey.
Restorative justice is a way of understanding crime, and harm in all of its forms, as a violation of people and relationships rather than solely a violation of law. When harm occurs, there are far-reaching impacts: emotional, spiritual, physical, and material. Restorative practices seek to address such impacts through transformative encounter, authentic accountability, and intentional amends in order to foster rehabilitation, repair relationships, and restore those impacted to a place of safety and healing.
Beyond the criminal justice system, there are countless opportunities use restorative practices in personal and parish life and within our communities.