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The professional membership association for development and support of Restorative Practices.


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what are restorative practices?



What does the term Restorative Practice mean?

Restorative Practice is an approach to problem solving, based on the principles, values and philosophy of Restorative Justice.

For the purposes of RPI, we use the term practice as a collective to encompass all fields where these notions of justice are practiced – policing, corrections, courts, juvenile justice, schools, families, organisations and workplaces. And RPI continues to believe that we have an enormous amount to learn from each other as we practise in these varying fields, and hone that practice to be the best it can be.

Restorative Justice (RJ) is an approach to problem solving that is based around three basic concepts:

  1. That when crime (or wrongdoing) occurs, the focus is on the harm that has been done to people and relationships
  2. When harm has been done, it creates obligations and liabilities
  3. The way forward involves wrongdoers, victims and the community in efforts to heal the harm and put things right (adapted from Zehr and Mika, 1997)

Restorative Programs

There are a range of Restorative programs across fields as diverse as justice (policing, corrections, juvenile justice), schools, workplaces, organisations, faith groups, family and community. RJ programs are characterised by four key values:

Encounter: creating opportunities for victims, offenders (wrongdoers), their families and community members who want to do so to meet to discuss the crime (incident) and its impact on them.

Amends: expecting wrongdoers to take steps to repair the harm they have caused.

Reintegration: seeking to restore victims and offenders to wholeness, to become contributing members of society.

Inclusion: providing opportunities for parties with a stake in a specific crime or incident to participate in its resolution (adapted from RJ Online)


We urge newcomers to these concepts to explore the wide range of models and practice. We believe each model has value and can contribute to our knowledge and best practice in whichever field we work.


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