Chaplain Clementina Chéry became an advocate for peace after her son was shot and killed by a stray bullet at age 15. She later founded the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in his honor. She now embraces restorative justice, with a goal of reconciliation.

“Our focus [at the institute] is on peace; survivor led, offender sensitive," Chéry said on Greater Boston. "I come at it from a community-based perspective and the evolution of the concept of restorative justice and this transformational justice.”

Chéry said both the offender and victim’s family need to be part of the process to prevent retaliatory violence.

“People make mistakes, and they need to be held accountable for those mistakes," said Linda Solomon, a restorative justice trainer, coach and executive conflict resolution consultant. "But everyone involved needs to have a say in that process. The foundation for that process is relationship-building, because the relationship you have with someone determines how you act with them.”

Restorative justice it is not a new concept. Indigenous communities have resolved problems in a similar manner for years.

Today’s restorative justice movement can be traced to the 1974 "Kitchener Experiment," where two teenagers from Kitchener, Ontario were required to apologize and pay restitution to each one of the 22 people whose homes they had vandalized.

Since then, restorative justice has expanded beyond the confines of the criminal justice system and is used in communities and schools through talking circles. Circles provide a safe place to have difficult conversations as there is no leader so everyone’s voice carries equal weight.

“Oftentimes, young people don’t have the opportunity or don’t take the time to listen to other people’s stories,” said Solomon. "And so, when we’re taught to listen to people’s stories, it’s the beginning of a beautiful practice for young people to see the value in each other’s stories — because that’s what change us.”

WATCH: What is restorative justice? Local leaders on how the practice build, heals communities in Boston