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Transformative Justice vs. Criminal Justice

The definition of criminal justice is “the delivery of justice to those who have committed crimes.” The definition of transformative justice utilizes “system approach, seeking to see problems, as not only the beginning of the crime but also the cause of crime, and tries to treat an offense as a transformative relational and educational opportunity for victims, offenders and all other members of the crime.”

Transformative Justice

What are these Justices?

Transformative Justice allows the consideration of root causes of crimes, inequality within the social, political, and economic systems. Instead of categorizing those individuals as victims and offenders, as the traditional approach, transformative justice recognizes the individual that might have caused harm and suffer from harm. By addressing these contributing factors, this justice strives to improve the quality of life for all parties by addressing social, economic inequalities that might have caused the crime. According to, “State control perpetuates injustices toward people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, the poor, and other marginalized and oppressed groups.”

This justice deinstitutionalized criminal justice in order to empower the people and communities rather than allowing institutions to declare their own decisions about the acts of violence, accountability aspects, and healing. “Activists working to address inequities in areas such as environmental safety, corporate responsibility, consumer economics and debt, labor-management relations, and family law apply methods based on mediation, negotiation, and community circles to resolve conflicts and build responsibility, trust, and inclusion.” Activists advocate for the immense involvement of communities and stopping the state policies that retribute and punitive practices such as the death penalty, torture, and aim for the abolition of prisons. They propose community and government programs that emphasize “accountability, forgiveness, healing, and inclusive education.”

Criminal Justice

The United States criminal justice is represented by networks of criminal justice systems at the federal, state, and special jurisdictional levels such as military and territorial courts. Although criminal laws vary, all are based on the United States Constitution. There are three components of the criminal justice system: Law enforcement, adjudication, and correction.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement quickly starts when a law enforcement body, for example, the police, receives a report from a victim or a witness. During this time the law enforcement body gathers information and proceeds with the investigation. Law enforcement includes the duties of arresting suspect offenders, gathering and comprehending evidence, establishing the motive, and completing the arrest report by stating the

information gathered from the investigation. These responsibilities include: “upholding the rights of offenders, victims, and witnesses; and conducting police procedures within rules prescribed by law.”

At a federal level of law enforcement, there is a body designated for particular areas of criminal law. An example would be the United States Department of Homeland Security, which addresses the issues of human trafficking. Another is the United States Department of Justice, including agencies such as the FBI that has specific police powers for crimes of significant nationwide issues like terrorist acts.

This is the criminal case involvement process. In other words, adjudication is the process by which “a judgment is pronounced by the court to the parties in a case.” Law enforcement components are organized by courts of federal, state, and special-jurisdiction levels.

Pretrial Services

  • The process starts when the law enforcement body submits the police report.

  • Prosecutor decides whether or not the incident will transform into a criminal case, the suspected offender will then be charged with the crime.

  • Lack of evidence, a weak investigation will drop or dismiss the charges, this is uncommon.


  • When the prosecutor press charges against the suspect offender, the adjudication process moves on to arraignment.

  • The suspect now enters a plea of guilty or not guilty, with the aid of legal counsel.


  • This process determines the guilt of the suspect if pleaded not guilty. IF pleaded guilty, the offender if-then convicted and the court determines the sentence for the suspect.

  • If a trial results in an appeal, the disadvantage will try to shift the advantage, the case will then be elevated in a higher court.


  • A penalty imposed on the offender who has been found guilty. Meted by the judge, will then follow prescribed guidelines, standards, and limitations.

Death Penalty

  • United States laws permit the death penalty to those convicts who committed heinous crimes.


This implies “reform and rehabilitation, corrections encompasses all sentenced offenders, including those who are on death row.” Corrections are a replacement for “penology” that was found harsh and unforgiving. “The process involves reform and rehabilitation programs to prepare eligible convicts for reentry and reintegration into society as free individuals.”


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