Restorative justice advocates want to spread the practice through Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Criminal justice advocates and faith leaders are emphasizing the value of restorative justice over punishment-based methods.

Criminal justice advocates are pushing for restorative justice methods in Florida's criminal justice system. (MGN)

The Florida Restorative Justice Association highlighted success in a Colorado city, which saw only one out of ten offenders return to prison after going through a restorative justice process and 95 percent victim satisfaction.

The group is hoping to spread the methods throughout Florida’s criminal justice system and also integrate restorative justice into education discipline.

Executive Director Dan Khan said restorative justice helps offenders reintegrate into society while also bringing victims closure.

“We're coming face to face and we're dealing with what happened and we're trying to heal it and fix it,” said Khan. "When you leave out of that, I think you feel more of a sense of connection to community, more of a sense of accountability, you have more of a sense of the impacts of your actions and that what you do matters for better or for worse.”

Currently, four Florida counties have implemented restorative justice practices in their schools. Six municipalities have restorative justice programs within their criminal justice systems.