In this extended interview from the World Trust documentary Healing Justice, sujatha describes what happens when a young person’s car theft case is diverted to a restorative justice process. Initially, the person harmed wants $4,000 from the youth who is responsible. Through the Restorative Community Conference, a transformative moment shifts the victim’s need for healing and accountability from money to art painted by the responsible youth. Creating the work of art deepens the responsible youth’s connection with his strengths and to his community, keeping him out of future trouble.
What do victims want?
“It’s different in every case,” says sujatha. “You have no idea what is going to leave a crime victim satisfied,” and restorative justice diversion offers a space for crime survivors to have their needs met in ways the criminal legal system does not allow.