Restorative Justice as a Remedy For Profiling

2009 NM PROHIBITION OF PROFILING PRACTICES ACT

USE OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AS A REMEDY FOR PROFILING

OVERVIEW

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE is a facilitated process allowing everyone involved in a conflict to be heard and take responsibility for any harm caused seeking ways to repair the harm, making things right as much as possible, restoring relationships and community.

Restorative justice provides an alternative philosophy for addressing bias-based profiling by law enforcement officers.  When viewed from a restorative lens bias-based profiling is a violation of people and relationships, the relationships between the officer and members of the community he or she has sworn to protect, as opposed to just breaking the law.  Restorative justice focuses on repairing harm, “making things right” and rebuilding relationships through a process that involves stakeholders in an active and respectful way, while emphasizing the community’s role in problem solving, both the law enforcement agency and the profiled community at large.  From a practical perspective, it requires the law enforcement agency to respond to profiling by devoting attention to:

  • Giving any profiled persons an opportunity to participate in justice processes ultimately creating a safe place to finding their voice.
  • Enabling law enforcement officers and agencies to understand the harm caused by their bias-based profiling and to make amends to those profiled and their communities.
  • Building on officers and profiled persons’ strengths and increasing officers and profiled persons’ competencies.
  • Protecting the greater community through a process in which the individuals profiled, the community, and officers are all active stakeholders.

A trained facilitator facilitates the restorative justice (RJ) process by creating a safe environment and creating common ground with all participants.  The values based approach creates an environment where all participants can be honest, respectful and accountable for their own actions.  This behavior and process has become a paradigm shift  for RJ participants and is modeled for their peers building individual skills to help prevent future profiling and strengthen community support.

*Adapted from the Restorative Justice Program overview at Santa Fe High School by FJC/NM Department of Peace Initiative

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROVIDER Information

Common Ground has the Restorative Justice contract with CYFD for Santa Fe County.  If RJ services are needed call  (505) 983-3344  or email commonground@newmexico.com and the Common Ground team can respond statewide.

Outcomes in Albuquerque provides Restorative Justice services.

Sandoval County has a Restorative Justice team already working with law enforcement.