Restorative Justice Month

November is National Restorative Justice Month. It is a time to reflect on those persons and communities that have been impacted by crime.  Our Catholic understanding of justice is balanced between compassion and understanding for the people harmed by others (victims) with accountability and mercy for people that have caused harm (offenders).  Restorative justice is not a “soft on crime” approach to justice. Rather, restorative justice focuses on meeting the needs of victims first and foremost, and holding those who have caused harm accountable while still recognizing the dignity of the person that caused the harm.  Restorative justice focuses on “what needs to happen to make things right” after the harm has occurred, in contrast to our current system of retributive justice that focuses solely on the punishment of an offender.   The following link from the California Catholic Conference provides additional information and resources on restorative justice:


Maria de Lourdes Valencia
Associate Director, Culture of Life
Phone: (858) 490-8323
mvalenciaEmail at
Christina Slentz, PhD
Associate Director, Creation Care
Phone: (858) 490-8327
cslentzEmail at
Mark Smith
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (858) 490-8324
msmithEmail at
Rev. Emmet Farrell
Spiritual Advisor, Creation Care
efarrellEmail at