Pono Kaulike: A Pilot Restorative Justice Program

Pono Kaulike: A Pilot Restorative Justice Program




Pono Kaulike: A Pilot Restorative Justice Program


The Pilot Restorative Justice program offers restorative processes to the crime victims. It provides an opportunity for many affected by the crime either directly or indirectly. It enhances equal rights and justice for all. Restorative justice program makes the criminal justice system stronger and effective by offering a balanced approach. This program aims at reuniting the victims and the offenders. Restorative Justice Program is all about victims receiving and apology from their offenders. All human beings are prone to make mistakes; no one is perfect. The Restorative Justice Program focuses on repairing the harm caused by the crime.


The main aim of restorative justice is to create reconciliation, address the needs of victims and offenders in the community. The modern restorative justice program began in 1970’s. It was not restricted to the Western legal justice systems only. The fact that it was a dominant model of criminal justice does not mean it was a new system. It was commonly used by the Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Restorative justice creates reconciliation between defendants who accept their action. The restorative justice system brings about positive social change. It focuses on the victim not the criminal. Accountability and reparation are the critically components of all restorative justice processes (Walker & Hayashi, 2007).

Restorative justice program emphasizes the importance of accepting one’s mistake, forgiveness and repair by the offender to the victim and the community .It unites people, it gives the offender and the victim a chance to discuss and know their differences then rectify them. Restorative justice helps heal psychology harm suffered by victim of crime. It provides full emotional restoration since the victim and the offender interact directly. It is so encouraging that the program has dealt with dozens of cases, which were successful. The selected criminal cases were not prosecuted .This was because victims were satisfied with the outcome of the restorative process.

Restorative justice system allows the victims to participate in their cases fully. This gives them the chance to ask questions that are important to them. Victims focus on offenders’ statements, understanding the harm they caused and their expression of remorse for having caused it (Walker & Hayashi, 2007). A restorative response to a crime leads to cognitive processes. It assists the victims and the community to cope with the crime. Restorative justice is an important approach to use in criminal cases. Generally, the practice is innovative and aspiring. At the end of a restorative justice process, the people involved usually have changed mindsets.


The restorative justice program focuses on correcting and pacifying the relationship between two parties in a crime, the offender and the victim. Unfortunately, restorative justice can never be an answer to all crises, neither is it clear to replace the legal system. It is appropriate that cases for the pilot restorative justice program are those of ongoing relationships, friends, spouses or those with intimate relationships. The specific charges included disorderly conduct, assault, criminal property damage or animal nuisance (barking of dogs). Despite the fact that the justice program has not existed for long to determine whether it reduces crime, the measure of success for restorative program is high. Therapist Kit Gillette, coordinator of the Court Diversion Program for the Mediation Services of Maui, says that the program has successfully dealt with a dozen of cases.



Walker, L., & Hayashi, L. A. (2007). A Hawaii Criminal Court Provides Restorative Justice Practices for Healing Relationships – Pono Kaulike, a pilot program initiated in 2002 in Hawaii to address family and intimate violence using Restorative Justice Practices offers a step toward healing for all those concerned. Federal Probation, 71, (3):18.






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