Here is a link to an article I published in The Mennonite, October 20, 2009. The article, “Healing Justice,” is an introduction to a theological rationale for the concept of restorative justice.
The United States currently in the midst of a terrible crisis wherein our criminal justice system undermines public safety and violates the principles of genuine justice and fairness. One reason people in our society accept such a destructive dynamic is theology that justifies a “logic of retribution” leading to strong support for violent punishment.
Biblically, justice has more to do with healing than with punishment—as we see in looking at several representative texts. Jesus (echoing the Old Testament prophets) calls us to heal our concept of justice in order to embrace a justice that heals.