Restorative Justice

In the narrowest sense restorative justice is an alternative process (based on conflict resolution models traditionally found in indigenous communities) for repairing the harm caused by crime. Restorative facilitators work with prosecutors and police, alongside victims and those who caused harm to focus on the victim's experience, and guide offenders to deep accountability through the power of empathy. Prosecutors, victims advocates, and public defenders want to grow our restorative justice capacity. In the broadest sense restorative justice is a philosophy for creating new paradigms to transform our models for public safety that insists on restoring the humanity of all members of the community (offender, community, and law enforcement) as well as creating equitable relationships and structures rooted in fairness.

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Our institutions reflect us: we must be honest about our need to change our relationships with each other, otherwise we will replicate oppressive power dynamics in whatever systems we create. A restorative justice mindset means that everyone in our city is included in the creation of solutions. Current plans for reform have bypassed the inclusion of all our diverse communities. We must have citywide, meaningful engagement across our diverse communities about safety, policing, healing, and transformation FIRST. 

There are two truths to this moment in Minneapolis: we need adequately staffed city law enforcement and we need real policing reform.

​Prevention and Peacemaking

  • Robust and adequately funded 211-311-411-911 system

  • Neighborhood restorative justice programs create alternate diversion programs to restore relationships when harm occurs

  • Publicly funded community-based mentorship, violence interruption, and peacebuilding programs create grassroots cultural transformation

  • Gun violence prevention addresses larger cultural conditions of violence

  • Opportunities for deep conversation across differences helps resolve the root causes of racial discrimination

Transform Policing

  • Investment mindset re-shapes our police department to better reflect our vision and values with robust co-responder programs and sophisticated use of data trends that identifies a) problem officers and b) pubic safety trends early

  • Strengthened police accountability removes problem officers and restores trust

  • Precinct by precinct truth and reconciliation commissions and permanent restorative processes between police and community allows for historic reckoning and reconciliation

  • Rebuilt MPD with officers from our communities creates relationship-driven accountabilty and trust