Using two recent news stories to illustrate her point, Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law Jane Murphy contributed an op-ed to The Baltimore Sun about the power, and success, of “restorative justice.”
One of the news stories described the unlikely friendship that developed between a former Baltimore City police officer and the man who shot him and killed a fellow officer nearly 42 years ago. The second story focused on former Baltimore City Councilwoman Rikki Spector’s work helping two teenagers who assaulted her in 2016.
Wrote Murphy: “Both stories illustrate the success of ‘restorative justice’ — an approach that aims to repair the harm caused by a crime instead of simply punishing the perpetrator. Emphasizing accountability by offenders and healing for victims, the concept’s central restorative practice is a meeting between the two parties.”
Murphy, the director of UB’s Juvenile Justice Project and co-director of the Mediation Clinic for Families, writes that restorative justice projects are particularly effective for juvenile offenders. Like adults, she says, “juvenile offenders who face their victims are less likely to engage in future criminal activity.”