WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/256387

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Page 148 of 211

vulnerable in some way. They worry that they were targeted for their behavior. When they learn it was random, they are strangely reassured because then they can return to their routines knowing that they aren't 'weak.' Those questions are rarely relevant to court prosecution but they're hugely meaningful to victims." Restorative justice is not about forgiveness, although sometimes that happens, Larson Sawin says. It may not bring closure, espe- cially in cases of extreme violence. Nor is it easy on offenders who have to speak for themselves, unlike in court where they may be shielded by an attorney and never see their victims. But the main difference is who decides what takes place. In court proceed- ings, attorneys on both sides, probation offi- cers, and judges decide what's appropriate. In restorative justice, it is those who were harmed. The process begins when the victim, offender, and their supporters (often a loved one) sit in a circle with a police officer from the referring department who ensures every- one will feel safe and, from C4RJ, a case coor- dinator and one or two volunteers. They sign a confidentiality agreement and talk about what happened and its aftermath. Based on the victim's needs, they reach a consensus on what the offender must do to repair the wrong, such as financial restitution, write an apology, reflection exercises, community service, or counseling. When those obliga- 147 s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e 144-153_WWMa14_good works_C4RJ_v2_WellesleyWeston Magzine 2/2/14 12:49 PM Page 147

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