Who We Are and What We Do



The mission of Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice is to provide leadership, education and support that promotes the principles, practices, implementation and sustainability of Balanced and Restorative Justice.


We envision a state in which:

  • Those who have been harmed (victims) experience healing and are restored, as much as possible, to a state of well being;
  • Community members feel safe and empowered to share responsibility for the safety of their neighborhoods; and
  • Those who have caused harm (offenders) learn to accept responsibility for their actions and further develop the skills needed to lead constructive lives; opportunities are provided to repair harm to the extent possible through involvement with victims and communities.


  • Focus on the harms of crime rather than just the rules that have been broken.
  • Show equal concern and commitment to victims, offenders, and communities by involving all in the process of justice.
  • Work toward the restoration of victims and communities, empowering them and responding to their needs as they see them.
  • Support offenders, while encouraging them to understand, accept, and carry out their obligations.
  • Recognize that while obligations may be difficult for offenders, those obligations should not be intended as punishment, and they must be achievable.
  • Provide opportunities for dialogue, direct or indirect, between victim and offender as appropriate.
  • Find meaningful ways to involve the community and to respond to the community bases of crime.
  • Encourage collaboration and reintegration of both victims and offenders, rather than coercion and isolation.
  • Give attention to the unintended consequences of all actions and programs.
  • Show respect to all parties - victims, offenders, and justice colleagues.
  • Implement BARJ principles at every level of the continuum of harm, whether that be in a school setting or diversion program, during probation, in a detention , jail or prison setting, or during and/or following parole.