Restorative Justice International (RJI)

RJI is a national and global criminal justice reform association and network with 6000 members and affiliates (to date) advocating for the expansion of victims-driven restorative justice. Victims-driven restorative justice is a new vision for systemic reform of our justice systems which puts the needs of crime victims first while stressing offender accountability. Restorative justice recognizes that crime is not a crime against the state but a crime against a victim, a real person. Restorative justice principles must guide all needed reforms of our criminal justice systems. Restorative justice is the  ultimate response to nations that depend only on mass incarceration to address crime. Restorative justice starts with the premise that our criminal justice systems are broken. We need a new vision for reform of our system that benefits crime victims, transform offenders and heal communities also injured by crime and violence.

Lisa Rea is RJI’s president and founder. Lisa is a national and international restorative justice expert with 25 years’ experience in the field of criminal justice reform with a deep background in public policy and legislative advocacy. She is a former California legislative staff person and subcommittee consultant. RJI’s Global Advisory Council (GAC) is comprised of influential and esteemed global leaders in restorative justice, justice reform and human rights efforts.

 

 

RJI is a central hub where lawmakers, nonprofits, universities, crime victims, businesses, law enforcement, government agencies, ex-offenders, people of faith and all those interested in justice reform can share information about restorative justice and learn about the best practices worldwide. RJI’s focus is to educate and advocate for restorative justice on the cutting edge.  We know that every day robust changes are taking place in the field of restorative justice globally. RJI tracks those advances and shares them publicly. We support public policies that promote victims-driven restorative justice stressing the need to restore the victim, as much as possible, and communities also injured by crime. Restorative justice urges offenders to take responsibility for their actions, as directly as possible, since through offender accountability real rehabilitation occurs and the likelihood of successive re-entry increases once an offender is released. RJI is in support of in-custody restorative justice programming which then open doors for direct victim-offender dialogue.

Our Global Advisory Council (GAC) includes the following esteemed members. We thank each member for their great and unique contribution to RJI. Click on the image to meet the team.

Restorative justice can be applied to any kind of crime: nonviolent and violent. The principles apply to juvenile and adult offenders alike. While victim offender dialogue (or family group conferencing) is to RJI the “gold standard” reflecting restorative justice principles there are many processes that can be instituted into our justice system that reflect  restorative justice. But for justice reform to be “restorative” crime victims must be in the center of the process or processes.

RJI’s presence on social media and through our RJI podcast series continues to draw diverse attention and support from those interested and committed to justice reform and prison reform from around globe. At our social media hubs discussions are moderated by RJI. Sometimes those conversations are sensitive and controversial as we discuss justice reform vis a vis restorative justice principles. RJI also seeks to educate those who are trying to learn about victims-driven restorative justice and its use around the globe. Our online dialogue is impacting the national and global debate about crime and its effects while laying the groundwork for the expansion of restorative justice as a means of systemic criminal justice reform.  RJI stresses the need for justice reform based on a vision that only restorative justice provides.

RJI’s membership represents some of the following countries: United Kingdom, Rwanda, India, United States, Australia, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Ireland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Thailand, South Africa, Greece, Malta, Zimbabwe, Finland and others. See our  affiliate members listed on this website. Join us!

Our mission and goals are the following:

1. Expand RJI’s global network worldwide

a) work globally, nationally and locally to build support for victims-driven restorative justice and to expand its use throughout our criminal justice systems;

b) host gatherings (including online), symposiums and panels to educate new members, prospective members, public officials, the public and the media;

c) provide public education through webinars, podcasts and on-site events;

2. Highlight the work of RJI Affiliates who are doing restorative justice around the world and provide opportunities to tell their stories through the media/press and social media

3. Develop public policy models and legislation to expand the use of victims-driven restorative justice

a) provide analysis of legislative proposals or existing statutes related to justice reform and restorative justice

b) disseminate and make available analyses on key public policy proposals;

4. Partner with others to launch pilot projects and model programs to test new restorative justice approaches;

5. Support evidence-based research in the field especially in new impact areas

a) partner with those doing the research, and b) disseminate the research conducted;

6. Conduct training on victims-driven restorative justice including educating members, supporters and the public on lobbying effectively on restorative justice;

a) recruit legislative advocates (i.e. lobbyists) and provide training to make them more effective in making the case for victims-driven restorative justice

b) provide guidance to advocates

7. Recruit and educate victims of violent crime to support the work of RJI.

a) urge victims to tell their stories and assist in providing a platform for them to speak out

b) host crime victim panels on restorative justice;

8.  Create and expand a legislative network inside RJI composed of:

a) grassroots supporters of RJI around the globe;

b) key contacts who support RJI’s goals and have access to key public officials, correctional officials, etc.

9. Create media opportunities to provide visibility through the use of film, television, radio, online social media venues.

10. Speak nationally and internationally on the work of RJI.

11. Examine and speak out on wrongful convictions. Work with those who have been wrongfully convicted and seek to right the wrong of wrongful convictions. Restorative justice applies to miscarriages of justice since the real offender has not been found in such cases while an innocent person is doing time for a crime he has not committed. No victim of violence wants to see an innocent person in prison or on death row for a crime he did not commit.

12. Launch and expand RJI’s Ambassador of Restorative Justice Network.

Join us as an Affiliate Member at the website (see tab under Join Us) or choose to contribute directly to RJI.  You can also suggest a way of partnering with RJI in new and creative ways. We think big!

Lisa Rea
Restorative Justice International (RJI)
http://restorativejusticeinternational.com 

Find us at LinkedIn.com and Facebook.com

Special thanks to Martin Howard (Australia) for his web design assistance and podcast support.   www.martinhoward.info

We also appreciate the support we have received from Peter B. Collins of Collins Media Service (California, U.S.) in assisting with our video and podcast production.  https://www.peterbcollins.com/about/