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Restorative Justice

In Focus

"See more clearly when you are informed"

Restorative Justice is the idea that the punishment for a crime should focus on repairing the harm caused rather than punishing an offense. It has become influential in criminal justice, police, and prison reform movements in recent years. Below you will find key terms, statistics, and other useful tools to understand and talk about Restorative Justice. If you would like to know more, consider coming to an IYC event. Our next one can be found below in the section labeled Our Events. We host them virtually, on a wide range of topics, discussing policy, civics, and current events.  

Key Terms You Should Know

Restorative Justice:

Focus on repairing the harm caused rather than punitive justice focused on punishing an offense.

Formerly Incarcerated:

Less offensive than felon, criminal, convict, ex-con

Justice Reform:

Systemic changes to the current criminal justice process.


The tendency for reoffending to occur.


A set of interventions, usually treatment and training, designed to optimize reintroduction to general society.

Person behind chainlink fence

Moments In History

1821 - Auburn Prison Disaster

1971 - War on Drugs declared by President Nixon with increased enforcement by President Reagan

1997 - Greenhouse Garden Program on Rikers Island Prison, NY

1865 - 13th Amendment abolishes slavery except as punishment for a crime

1982 - First Victim Impact Panels introduced by MADD


According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than 40% offenders return to prison within 3 years. By contrast, Planting Justice says the recidivism rate for the men who go through the garden program is 10%.

Prison Policy Initiative states that prisoners make 0.62/hr, but they work 8 hrs/day

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons,13% Black Americans in U.S population, 38% of people in prison are Black.

Based on FY 2020 data, the average annual COIF for a Federal inmate in a Federal facility in FY 2020 was $120.59 per day. The average annual COIF for a Federal inmate in a Residential Reentry Center for FY 2020 was $97.44 per day. 


Fulfilling potential


 Scales of Justice


Human beings


Notable Names

Amal Clooney
Archie Williams
Bryan Stevenson
Martha Stewart
Central Park Five

Amal Clooney


Archie Williams

Bryan Stevenson

Martha Stewart

Central Park Five


Our Events



Further Resources

Restorative Justice Infographic

Share what you have learned about Restorative Justice. Our Infographic has been designed to be shared easily by printing, emailing, or posting on social media. Click on the image to view or download the PDF File.

(Not for commercial use) 

Restorative Justice Infographic.jpg

Craftivism Event Video

As you make your own bracelet, you will learn about the prison system, prison reform, and what is meant by restorative justice. Attendees chose from leather or velvet as the base for their metal stud bracelet. You can follow the instructions to make a version of this craft with your own supplies. No experience necessary. You can also make an event out of it yourself by hosting your own Craftivism: Restorative Justice Discussion Party. Feel free to share this video with others! (Not for commercial use) 

Take Action

Hands of support on man

Commit to one Restorative Justice friendly action a week.

Person reading to group

Correct the narrative when someone stereotypes.

Two people passing a black paper heart

Share our infographic.

Holding hands

Familiarize yourself with some of the people discussed at

People Hugging

Research how prisoners are integrated back into a community.

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