A revolutionary program, "restorative justice" is changing the way criminals and victims begin to heal. It is where victims come face-to-face with the people whose crimes forever altered their lives. Sunny Schwartz is an attorney who heads up the Resolve to Stop Violence Project for the San Francisco County Sheriff's Department. She says part of what is helping some families heal is hearing criminals take responsibility for what they did.
"We felt very compelled to do something different than locking people up, letting them out again, and never taking time to talk to the offenders, the victims and the community members who are all affected by violence," Sunny says. "I don't know a family that has not benefited from looking face-to-face with the perpetrator of their lost loved ones or themselves, because it speaks volumes to be told, 'You didn't deserve that, I'm sorry.' That's not the end-all, that's just the beginning. Offender accountability is critical here, and it's the backbone of our program."