Benefits for Community
The community is the other participant, represented by those who support the victim(s) and offender(s), others who might have been affected (such as witnesses or relatives), and by facilitators trained to participate in RJ processes.
|The participation of community members in RJ processes increases the social capital of our society and promotes more peaceful social processes, where restoration is favored over retribution.|
The participation of community members in RJ processes increases the social capital of our society and promotes more peaceful social processes, where restoration is favored over retribution. For offenders it is often very encouraging to realize that there are people who do not simply condemn them but are interested in supporting their processes of change and reintegration. Restorative processes, thus, can offer an important contribution to reintegration - and successful reintegration does require the collaboration and involvement of the community. If well organized and implemented, such processes may decrease the need of interventions on behalf of formal institutions and allow community members to be partakers of democratic processes.
According to Braithwaite (2007), RJ offers individuals a tremendous opportunity by allowing them to participate in democratic processes within their communities. Nowadays, most citizens are not willing to participate in public meetings. Nevertheless, when asked to serve as a supporter of a victim or offender in an RJ encounter, most citizens choose to participate, based on the perception that it is an honor to help someone in trouble.