Acknowledging and repairing harm for the purpose of reconciliation.
Restorative Justice (RJ) seeks to examine the harmful impact of crime or wrongdoing and help those affected to determine what can be done to repair that harm, while still holding the offender accountable. This philosophy focuses on reconciliation and putting right what was made wrong, rather than using punishment to address the issue. RJ strives for deeper and more sustained healing for everyone involved. An important part of the philosophy of RJ is preventative work to build strong and healthy communities that have the capacity to effectively respond to harm.
The Bridge Institute is the region's expert on Restorative Justice. We provide facilitated processes as well as training and education that support both the preventative and responsive aspects of RJ. Our preventative services include the Foundations of Restorative Justice program, which provides public and private school systems, colleges and universities, businesses, and faith communities with an understanding of the values and principles of RJ. Our current RJ clients and partners include Roanoke City Public Schools and Virginia Tech. We also provide community-building circles that strengthen communities by creating a culture that can productively handle conflict and harm in meaningful ways, where true needs can be addressed. In addition to preventative programs, The Bridge Institute provides responsive processes for when harm has occurred, in any setting.