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Finding a medium between the current criminal justice system and a proposed restorative justice system could help people come to terms with crimes committed in order to help restore order.

This was one of the issues discussed in an open forum on Restorative Justice held at the Fiji Community Policing Headquarters in Suva yesterday.

In attendance were members of the Fiji Corrections Service including Commissioner of Prisons himself, Lt Col Iferemi Vasu including members of the Fiji Police Force community officers.

The forum was facilitated by strategic peace builder Paulo Baleinakorodawa of the Pacific Centre for Peace Building and who holds a Masters degree from the University of Virginia, USA.

Mr Baleinakorodawa shared with the participants that restorative justice did not primarily focus on forgiveness or reconciliation but basically trying to identify the roles and needs of those who commit the crime and those who the crime was committed against.

"The criminal justice system asks what laws have been broken, who did it and what do they deserve.

"But restorative justice asks who has been hurt, what are their needs and whose obligations are these,'' said Mr Baleinakorodawa.

"Restorative justice requires at minimum that we address victims harms and needs, hold offenders accountable to put right into those harms and involve victims and offenders and communities in the process."

The Fiji Police Force and Fiji Corrections Service will now engage the PCPB for their future engagements in their strategic plans and community programs.