Restorative Justice:   The Seven Steps to Deliberation


The most effective jurors are those who can readily identify all the disposition options and understand how each is related to Restorative Justice and the 40 Developmental Assets.  You should ask questions and make comments during deliberations that will help to ensure that the dispositions will help the respondents to understand how their actions affected others.  Your goal is to give a sentence that creates opportunities for the respondent to repair the harm, increase the respondent’s skills and education, and involve the community.  

1.     Review the rules for jury deliberations. 

2.     Review the facts and circumstances of the case.  Discuss your impressions of what you saw and heard during the hearing. 

3.     Decide who was affected by the respondent’s actions and how they were harmed by the respondent. 

4.     Identify the needs of everyone who was affected by the harm: respondent, respondent’s family, victims, and the community. 

5.     Decide what needs to be done to repair the harm. 

6.     Determine an appropriate sentence that will help meet the needs of the affected parties and reach mutual agreement.  The jury usually votes on the sanctions, with a majority vote deciding which sanctions to impose.  The deliberation should begin with classes, then written or other assignments, and community service and/or juvenile court work days, and jury duty as appropriate. 

7.     Provide a written verdict that describes the sentence.  It may include a written justification that explains the reason for the dispositions imposed.  This written statement can send a message to the respondent about the jury's thoughts and impressions, as well as their hopes for successful completion of the program.