Restorative Justice


Restorative justice is an inclusive, flexible and participatory approach to crime that can be complementary or an alternative to the conventional criminal justice process. It provides an opportunity to all affected parties – offenders, victims, their families and the community – to participate in addressing the crime and repairing the harm caused by it.  It is also often the only, or one of very few, measures available for victims to participate in the resolution of a case and seek redress. Underpinning restorative justice is the understanding that criminal behaviour not only breaches the law, but also harms victims and the community.

In recent decades, the use of restorative justice in criminal matters has significantly increased around the world.  As the custodian of the Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programmes in Criminal Matters, UNODC assists Member States by:

  • Reviewing and supporting legislative reform to develop or expand restorative justice programmes
  • Assisting in establishing, implementing and improving restorative justice programmes
  • Enhancing the capacity of criminal justice actors by:
    • Training restorative justice practitioners in delivering restorative justice services
    • Training legislators, policymakers and other criminal justice professionals for a deeper understanding of the goals, values and benefits of restorative justice

For more detailed information on restorative justice, please follow the links below:


Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes
Training Manual on Restorative Justice Programmes