What are Restorative Approaches?

Restorative approaches to resolving conflict and repairing harm are about doing things differently and engaging those involved in conflict to be part of the solution.

This set of values can be applied to many situations including, but not exclusively to education, communities and neighbourhoods, the criminal justice system, families, the workplace, equalities and health & well-being.

Therefore, Restorative Bristol will refer to restorative approaches rather than just restorative justice.

Restorative approaches can be used as a final resolution or alongside other actions to resolve harm and reduce conflict.

Moreover, there are conflict situations where it is not clear who is the victim and who is the perpetrator? In such situations, a restorative approach can be used to bring all the people affected together to create dialogue to resolve disagreements, disputes, miscommunication and repair the harm.

Restorative Bristol defines restorative approaches using a set of key principles, which are:

  • Facilitating dialogue between all those affected by the wrongdoing or conflict
  • Encouraging those responsible for the harm done to become accountable for their actions and responsible for putting right the wrong
  • Ensuring that all those involved or affected are given the opportunity to share their story, their feelings and their needs
  • Involving everyone affected in finding mutually acceptable ways forward
  • Repairing the harm caused by any behaviour that has a negative impact on others
  • Repairing, or at times, building relationships between those affected