The model of restorative justice used by Restorative Denver involves bringing together the person who was harmed (victim), the person who caused harm (defendant), and community members in a facilitated community group conference to discuss what happened, what harm was caused by the crime, and how the person who caused harm can take accountability and repair the harm caused. Restorative justice focuses not on punishment, but on making things right and reintegrating the person who caused harm back into the community with the skills and awareness to make better decisions in the future.
In this age-old process, adapted for use in modern times, people who were harmed have a voice concerning their needs and the impact the crime has had on them. They may move toward healing and forgiveness. The community feels empowerment over their own disputes. The person who caused harm has an opportunity to feel the impact of their behavior and become truly accountable for making it right. Together, through a facilitated process, the people who were harmed, the people who caused harm and representatives from the community create a plan that is restorative in nature, achievable, relevant and fair.
Restorative justice participants report increased victim satisfaction for restorative justice participants. Additionally, when Restorative Justice is offered as an alternative to the traditional justice system, there is a demonstrated reduced demand on municipal courts and probation services for cases that are successfully managed through restorative justice and an increase in participation of citizens in the criminal justice process.