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What might be another option instead of the current judicial system?

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Transformative justice is a radical, alternative approach to addressing interpersonal and larger acts of harm outside of the criminal justice system. It seeks to prevent further harm or violence by asking what people and communities need to thrive and addressing how larger systems keep people and communities in states of crisis and cycles of violence. In transformative justice models, the goal is not to punish or criminalize someone, but to facilitate healing and transformation of people and relationships.

For example, in the case of domestic violence, a transformative justice group would not rely on the carceral state to address abuse, but rather seek to facilitate accountability and repair on the part of the person who harmed their partner. Healing and safety would be prioritized for all individuals involved, including the person who caused the harm.

This process requires all individuals involved to be actively willing to participate in the process. For the person who caused the harm, this could mean attending peer or professional therapy, abstaining from substances that may increase their expression of violent behavior (and possibly addressing an addiction), staying at a friend or relative's house for a time in order to give the partner who was harmed space to heal, feel safe again, think about what they want moving forward.

In this process, separate groups are often formed in which one group primarily supports the person who was harmed, while another group primarily supports the person who did the harming in their process of change. Rather than isolating the individual, the group would be there to help the person process how they need to change and what material steps they need to take in order to grow.

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