About Restorative Justice
The court system does not give Mrs. Green an opportunity to ask questions. The court might (or might not) order Billy and his family to pay for the door, or to compensate her for her losses. But she won't have much, if any, say about what will happen. 
 
A restorative encounter
What would those measures be? This is another way in which restorative justice may be more responsive than the court. The participants often come with creative and particularly fitting ideas. 

Mrs. Green can ask for restitution, or she might have chores or service she thinks he should do. The circle may reveal that Billy has trouble keeping friends and has fallen in with a group his parents worry about. So maybe the agreement would include counseling or working with a mentor. If Billy has trouble with drugs, the agreement could require an evaluation and counseling.

Billy will be held accountable during he period he carries out these obligations, with firm deadlines. Mrs. Green will receive support, including reports on how he is doing.
 
In the vast majority of cases handled in this manner, people who've suffered such harms report substantially greater satisfaction with the outcome compared with people in similar circumstances who've gone through the legal process.
 
And those who have done harm, like Billy, report they have learned and feel better after having made amends.
RJ is a set of principles, chief among them that crime and wrong-doing are not just violations of laws or rules, but of people and relationships.
 
Restorative justice is about balancing accountability by those who've done harm and support for people who have been harmed. With compassion for both.
 
An example
 
When Billy from down the street breaks Mrs. Green's screen door and helps himself to some of her valuables, he's hurting HER, not the state. Yes, he could be charged with breaking and entering and larceny, but for Mrs. Green, the issue is probably more complex. Her security has been shattered, she has a broken door, and maybe her things are missing. She also knows that her neighbors were frightened when they learned what happened.
 
And maybe even more important, she knows Billy and his parents. 
 
She may have questions, like, why?
 
In some jurisdictions, Mrs. Green can request restorative justice from police, the court, or a community group. A facilitator will meet with her to hear about what happened and what she needs, what her worries are and what she'd like from Billy. The facilitator meets with Billy, too. Then a meeting will take place and each participant will have the chance to speak and (often, just as important) listen. Mrs. Green will have the chance to say how she was affected by Billy's actions. Billy will hear it, as he faces her.
 
This meeting, called a circle or a conference, results in a restorative agreement containing obligations Billy takes on in order to make up for the acts.