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06/17/2024 12:48 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: November 13, 2023 03:40 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb and Rep. Dan K. Williams
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing a restorative justice option in the criminal legal system
Restorative justice is a philosophy of criminal justice that seeks to understand and repair the harmful consequences of a criminal act. It focuses on the restoration of the victim and mending damaged relationships, as opposed to punishing the offender. 
This approach emphasizes rehabilitating those who commit an offense while holding them accountable for their behavior. Several restorative justice methods consist of victim assistance, community service, victim-offender mediation, peacemaking circles, and family group conferencing. 
Research regarding restorative justice has consistently demonstrated higher rates of victim satisfaction, lower rates of recidivism and enhanced offender accountability, as well as better restitution payoffs. 
Therefore, we are introducing legislation to permit judges to use a restorative justice approach in the criminal legal system. This legislation will add restorative justice as a sentencing alternative. Additionally, the bill would provide for confidentiality of any information shared in a restorative justice program. 
Please join us in co-sponsoring this important step forward in community-centered harm reduction within the criminal legal system.

Introduced as HB1849