The Accountability principle of Balanced and Restorative Justice asserts that juveniles who commit crimes in Pennsylvania incur obligations to their victims and the communities they harm. The juvenile justice system’s role is to provide opportunities for juvenile offenders to be held responsible to repair the harm caused by their delinquent behavior. Offenders exhibit true accountability by actively assuming and fulfilling their responsibilities for making reparation, paying restitution, participating in structured activities that benefit the community, and learning about the harm caused by their behavior.
Additionally, crime can forever change its victim. Recognizing this, the amended Crime Victims Act of 2000 and the Rules of Juvenile Court Procedure for Delinquency Matters gave certain rights to victims of juvenile crime. The goal of victim restoration programs and services should be to restore the victim, to the greatest extent possible, to his/her pre-crime status. The juvenile justice system’s role is to also honor and protect the critical rights of these crime victims.