The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office is committed to a restorative justice approach to combat criminal activity in Hinds County, Mississippi.
Restorative justice is an approach to the criminal justice system that focuses on examining who is harmed when a crime has been committed and determining ways to repair the harm done to them. Research has shown that victims of crime are increasingly disappointed by their treatment within the criminal justice system. Many victims of crime favor accountability through restorative justice and other rehabilitative alternatives to prosecution and incarceration. When survivors of crime are involved in decisions about how we hold people who have caused harm accountable, restoration and repair can happen. Previous, historic approaches to responding to crime have not only resulted in mass incarceration but have also left a lack of accountability or support for victims of crime. By contrast, restorative justice offers a way to promote community safety by focusing on accountability between a person who has caused harm and the people affected by the harm. It also aims to reduce recidivism by addressing the root causes of harm while upholding the dignity of those who have caused harm. The restorative justice approach seeks to reduce rather than exacerbate racial inequities.
The Hinds County District Attorney’s Office Restorative Justice Division works in collaboration with other state and local organizations to institutionalize restorative justice within the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office and the Hinds County Criminal Justice System. Our approach to restorative justice is designed to:
(1) emphasize accountability to survivors of crime;
(2) ensure equal justice under the law by addressing systemic racial inequities;
(3) increase community safety by reducing recidivism and addressing root causes of harm;
(4) uphold the dignity of folks who have caused harm; and
(5) generate cost savings for re-investment into alternative programming that works.
The goal of the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office is to generate long term healing, rather than a band-aid response to high-profile incidents. Restorative justice offers an opportunity to stop cycles of harm that are often based on hurt people hurting other people where there has never been an opportunity for healing or repair. We encourage members of our community to get involved in the movement to generate more effective approaches to keeping each other safe by learning about restorative justice practices and supporting community, educational and legal organizations that practice this innovative approach.