Restorative Justice is an alternative way to view crime and the way we respond to it. At it's most basic level restorative justice requires looking at crime as a violation of relationships which creates liabilities and obligations between the primary stakeholders. The primary stakeholders are victim, offender and community. Within each of those stakeholder groups are primary, secondary and tertiary victims or consider the thought of concentric circles of individuals surrounding the victim, the offender and the community.
Restorative justice has begun to influence the operations of our traditional justice systems both criminal and juvenile. Since the focus of restorative justice is the repairing of the harm which resulting from the violation of relationships a greater emphasis can be placed on the needs of the victim - as identified by that victim- that have not traditionally been available to those who participate in our systems of justice.
Training on the basic concepts of restorative justice, program and policy development, victim and offender experience, and system based restorative justice programing is available. Basic training through advanced and refresher education programing is available to individuals and organizations. Balancing the needs of victims and offenders is the primary focus of Achilles Consulting Services Trainings on Restorative Justice. While many restorative justice trainers have backgrounds steeped in work with offenders Ms. Achilles background is steeped in services to victims and communities in crisis. She also has some experience working with offenders. Sometimes what is needed is a facilitation of conversation among key stakeholders therefore trainings are tailored to client's needs.
Background and Experience
Ms. Achilles has a significant background in working is restorative justice policy development and programing. She is an author of several articles, chapters and other documents on the issues of restorative justice. In early 1995 Ms. Achilles and several of her victim assistance colleagues embarked on a learning journey around the issues of restorative justice and victim offender mediation. At the same time Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system adapted the Balanced and Restorative Justice Approach within the legislative mission of the system These changes required advocacy on behalf of victims but also leadership within the victims services community. That leadership was necessary to ensure that the victim's community could be educated on the fundamental concepts of restorative justice and ensuring that the experiences of that community were incorporated into any balanced and restorative justice programing along with incorporation of these concepts into the criminal justice system.