When someone commits a crime, most of us instinctively want to “hold them accountable.” This is retributive justice — in other words, punishment. And though it can bring satisfaction to the victims, we know it rarely creates meaningful change.
One alternative to that typical form of justice is “restorative justice”, which aims at healing instead of punishment. The simplest form of this restitution is a straightforward and meaningful apology. On a broader scale, these practices are being used with great effect in schools and beyond.
We’ll be learning what restorative justice means and how it works from Ted Wachtel, the president and founder of the International Institute for Restorative Practices. And we’ll also speak with Betsaida Ortiz, the assistant principal of Warren Harding Middle School in Philly, who is working to make the school a restorative practices environment.