What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative justice is a victim-centred and community-based approach to crime.  It is non-adversarial and non-retributive; we see accountability happening through offenders making amends to victims, helping victims get their needs met, and addressing the root causes of the offence.

Restorative justice focuses on repairing the damage done,  improving relationships, holding offenders accountable, and reintegrating victims and (when appropriate) offenders back into the community.  This is achieved by actualizing restorative principles such as empowering victims and responding to their unique and individual needs; restitution; supporting offenders understand, accept and carry out their obligations; providing opportunities for dialogue between victim and offender as appropriate; finding meaningful ways to involve the community; and encouraging collaboration and reintegration.

Restorative justice is practiced in many forms (see our “What do we Do?” page) at any point after a crime has occurred – it can be used as diversion (typically for comparatively minor offences), in conjunction with a trial, or completely independently of a trial (typically for more serious offences, when the process is more about getting answers and healing).  The diagram below illustrates the various points that RJ can occur after a crime:

Here are some of the many values that guide our practice:

  • Accountability
  • Authenticity
  • Collaboration
  • Diversity
  • Empathy
  • Empowerment
  • Honesty
  • Inclusion
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Safety
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-care

For more information on restorative justice and restorative practices, please go to our RJ Resources page.

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