That said, restorative justice has also been under a lot of fire recently. There aren’t many public examples of how a community can create this process for themselves, so a lot can go wrong, especially when it comes to community follow through. Social capital can warp a restorative justice process and make it more damaging to the survivor than it is healing. Many times the survivor doesn’t want to participate in the process due to trauma, which is understan…
I just want to say something about restorative justice. We like to talk a lot about restorative justice, but as I speak to more and more people who do this in a professional capacity, who have experience with it, what I’m learning is that restorative justice tends to not work in the case of sexual violence or intimate partner abuse, especially involving cisgender men. My local RJ agency turns away most cases involving men who have abused partners, because the tendency is for the men to manipulate the process and revictimize the survivors. To be honest, the fact that most people trying to do restorative or transformative justice in alt communities don’t even know this, or aren’t aware of it as a land mine, tells you just how completely unqualified most of the folks trying to do it are.
These are the 601-level processes, the most difficult of already difficult work, and we have 101-level people doing them, and it’s causing a lot of harm. I’m not sure what to do about that.