The 5 R’s of Restorative Practice -English & Espanol

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Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.10.00 PM“Restorative justice rests on a foundation of values and principles. These tenets may be implemented in any number of ways that generally involve a circle of people exploring a wrong or conflict with the focus on repairing harm and making things right to the greatest extent possible. An internet search of restorative justice values and principles will reveal hundreds of sources, as much is written on this topic. In an effort to provide a concise version for our volunteers that is fairly easy to recall, I began to articulate the R’s. The first version contained 4 R’s with Reintegration, the fifth R, being added later. The sequence of the R’s varied in earlier versions. Over the years, the scope and sequence have become precise. The 5 R’s are: Relationship, Respect, Responsibility, Repair, and Reintegration. Since our volunteer team has over a hundred people at times who are doing this work, it was important that we be consistent in our service delivery. The 5 R’s are taught to everyone; they were the code to live by and turn to as the basis for all decision making.

Our team of community practitioners started out believing that we were doing this work as a service to our community and to the offenders and crime victims and their families that we touched. After a couple short years, we began to understand the depth to which our own lives had been impacted by this work. As a community of restorative justice practitioners, we realized and discussed the extent to which we were living our lives more clearly, more directly, more specifically guided by the values and principles of our restorative justice work. The 5 R’s became not only the umbrella for our volunteer work, but also the guide for raising our children, enhancing our marriages and interacting with our neighbors. We realized that the 5 R’s had, in fact, become a way of life.”

–Excerpt from Teaching Peace: A Restorative Justice Framework for Strengthening Relationships (p. 2-3) by Beverly Title, Ph.D

Golden ring with check mark

Special thanks to Raúl Galindo in collaboration with Ivette Visbal for providing the Spanish version of the 5 R’s.

Free PDF Download: Las 5 Rs 2014


Las 5 Rs de la Práctica Restaurativa

Beverly B. Title, Ph.D.


La práctica restaurativa es reconocer que cuando se hace un daño, los individuos y comunidades se sienten violados. El daño a estas relaciones es lo que se considera de mayor importancia y es el enfoque central de lo que la práctica restaurativa busca enmendar. Cuando las relaciones son fuertes, la gente vive una vida más satisfactoria, y las comunidades se convierten en lugares donde queremos vivir. Las relaciones pueden ser enmendadas con la buena voluntad de rendir cuentas por nuestras acciones y para reparar los daños ocurridos.


El respeto es el ingrediente clave de la práctica restaurativa, y es lo que hace el proceso seguro para todos. Es esencial que todas las personas en el proceso restaurativo sean tratadas con respeto.  Una manera de reconocer el respeto es que la participación en el proceso restaurativo siempre es opcional.  Se espera que cada persona demuestre respeto por los demás y por sí mismos. Los procesos restaurativos requieren de un profundo escuchar sin asumir que uno sabe lo que va a decir la persona que está hablando. También se honra la importancia del punto de vista de otros. Cuando estamos escuchando, el enfoque es entender a otras personas. Aunque no estemos de acuerdo con su manera de pensar, podemos ser respetuosos e intentar comprender como otros ven las cosas.


Para que las prácticas restaurativas sean efectivas, se debe tomar responsabilidad personal. Cada persona necesita tomar responsabilidad por cualquier daño que se causó a otro, admitiendo cualquier daño que se hizo aún si no fue intencional. Tomar responsabilidad también incluye inclinarse a dar una explicación por el comportamiento dañino. A todas las personas en el círculo se les pide que busquen profundamente en su corazón y mente para descubrir si hay alguna parte del asunto por lo que se hacen responsables. Todos necesitan estar dispuestos a aceptar responsabilidad por su propio comportamiento y el impacto que este tiene en otros individuos y en la comunidad.


El enfoque restaurativo es reparar el daño que se hizo y las causas subyacentes lo más que se pueda, reconociendo que el daño tal vez se extiende mas allá de la capacidad de cualquiera para repararlo.

Se espera que las personas involucradas hagan la reparación una vez que acepten responsabilidad por su comportamiento y después que hayan escuchado en el proceso restaurativo sobre como otros fueron lastimados por sus acciones. Este principio nos ayuda a dejar al lado pensamientos de venganza y castigo.  Es esencial que todas las personas relacionadas al evento sean involcradas en identificar el daño y en dar su opinión sobre cómo este debe ser reparado.  Es por medio de aceptar responsabilidad por el comportamiento y hacer reparaciones, que las personas pueden recuperar o fortalecer el respeto de sí mismo y el respeto de otros.



Para que el proceso restaurativo esté completo, las personas que pudieron haberse sentido marginadas, deben ser aceptadas en la comunidad. La reintegración se realiza cuando todas las personas han dejado atrás su dolor y han pasado a un nuevo papel dentro de la comunidad. Este nuevo papel reconoce el valor y la importancia del nuevo aprendizaje que se ha logrado. La persona ha transformado el acto dañino una vez que ha demostrado ser una persona honorable al aceptar responsabilidad y reparar el daño. En el punto de reintegración, todas las partes están de nuevo en buena relación el uno con el otro y con la comunidad. Este proceso de reintegración es el último paso para conseguir integridad.

The Five R’s English Version

The 5 R’s of Restorative Practice

Beverly B. Title, Ph.D.



Restorative practices recognize that when a wrong occurs, individuals and communities feel violated.  It is the damage to these relationships that is primarily important and is the central focus of what restorative practices seek to address.  When relationships are strong, people experience more fulfilling lives, and communities become places where we want to live. Relationships may be mended through the willingness to be accountable for one’s actions and to make repair of harms done.


Respect is the key ingredient that holds the container for all restorative practices, and it is what keeps the process safe.  It is essential that all persons in a restorative process be treated with respect. One way we acknowledge respect is that participation in a restorative process is always optional.  Every person is expected to show respect for others and for themselves.  Restorative processes require deep listening, done in a way that does not presume we know what the speaker is going to say, but that we honor the importance of the other’s point of view.  Our focus for listening is to understand other people, so, even if we disagree with their thinking, we can be respectful and try hard to comprehend how it seems to them. 


For restorative practices to be effective, personal responsibility must be taken.  Each person needs to take responsibility for any harm that was caused to another, admitting any wrong that was done, even if it was unintentional. Taking responsibility also includes a willingness to give an explanation of the harmful behavior.  All persons in the circle are asked to search deeply in their hearts and minds to discover if there is any part of the matter at hand for which they have some responsibility.  Everyone needs to be willing to accept responsibility for his or her own behavior and the impacts it has on other individuals and the community as a whole.


The restorative approach is to repair the harm that was done, and the underlying causes, to the fullest extent possible, recognizing that harm may extend beyond anyone’s capacity for repair. Once the persons involved have accepted responsibility for their behavior and they have heard in the restorative process about how others were harmed by their action, they are expected to make repair. This allows us to set aside thoughts of revenge and punishment.  It is essential that all stakeholders in the event be involved in identifying the harm and having a voice in how it will be repaired. It is through taking responsibility for one’s own behavior and making repair that persons may regain or strengthen their self-respect and the respect of others.


For the restorative process to be complete, persons who may have felt alienated must be accepted into the community.  Reintegration is realized when all persons have put the hurt behind them and moved into a new role in the community.  This new role recognizes their worth and the importance of the new learning that has been accomplished.  The person having shown him or herself to be an honorable person through acceptance of responsibility and repair of harm has transformed the hurtful act.  At the reintegration point, all parties are back in right relationship with each other and with the community. This reintegration process is the final step in achieving wholeness.

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