It’s Restorative Justice Week. In the face of crime and conflict, restorative justice (RJ) is a philosophy and an approach that views crime and conflict principally as harm done to people and relationships. It strives to provide support and safe opportunities for the voluntary participation and communication between those affected (victims, offenders, and community) to encourage accountability, reparation, and a movement towards understanding, feelings of satisfaction, healing, safety and a sense of closure.
RJ is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, meaningful accountability of offenders, and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities.
RJ is about giving all parties involved in a conflict the opportunity to take an active role in a safe and respectful process that allows for open dialogue between the victim, offender, and the community. The decision to participate in a restorative justice process may be a complex and difficult one. Those who have participated in RJ processes report that RJ helps fulfill needs that have been previously left unmet.
- RJ provides victims with an opportunity to tell their story, address the harm caused, and find answers to questions that are important to them.
- RJ provides offenders with an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and to be held accountable by those they harmed.
- RJ empowers communities to gain a better understanding of the root causes of crime and allow the community to express and reduce its fears.
Visit www.csc-scc.gc.ca/restorative-justice/003005-2000-eng.shtml for more information on RJ Week 2017.