"Justice requires that we work
to restore those who have been injured"
Probably most harmed people would not want anything to do with meeting the person who caused such pain and change. But I wish they would. Because I now know that holding on to fears and questions is too hard on the body, the soul and the spirit. Having this process available changed my life. And I think it changed the offender’s life too. I wasn’t as present in court as I wanted to be because of logistics, but I don’t think it would have changed anything in the long run if I had. But this conversation changed everything for me. I don’t have to live in a mystery any longer. It ages you. It kept me from living fully. Now, I can see the picture much better. I know what I needed to know. Receiving someone’s help to heal, that is a beautiful thing.
Restorative Justice boils down to this: seeing and being seen; listening and being heard; revealing your truth and then bearing witness to that of your fellow man, no matter how difficult that might be. It is the profoundest gift that one can give or receive. Because too often, a person’s truth becomes a burden to bear or be buried.
Courtesy of the Colorado Department of Corrections Restorative Justice
- produced by Joshua Keffer
Victim Offender Dialogue Participants Speaking to the VOD Process
from several VOD participants
“The place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. it’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light.”
— Cheryl Strayed