Balanced and Restorative Justice
Balanced and Restorative Justice in Pennsylvania
The philosophy of Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) serves as the foundation for the Juvenile Justice System in Pennsylvania, which directly supports the purpose/mission of the juvenile justice system as stated in Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act:
"…to provide for children committing delinquent acts programs of supervision, care and rehabilitation which provide balanced attention to the protection of the community, the imposition of accountability for offenses committed and the development of competencies to enable children to become responsible and productive members of the community."
Balanced and Restorative Justice is rooted in the following principles:
Community Protection – the citizens of Pennsylvania have a right to safe and secure communities.
Accountability – In Pennsylvania, when a crime is committed by a juvenile, an obligation to the victim and the community is incurred.
Competency Development – Juveniles who come within the jurisdiction Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system should leave the system more capable of being responsible and productive members of their communities.
Individualization – Each case referred to Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system presents unique circumstances and the response by the system must therefore be individualized and based upon an assessment of all relevant information and factors.