“Retributive theory believes that pain will vindicate, but in practice that is often counterproductive for both victim and offender. Restorative justice theory, on the other hand, argues that what truly vindicates is acknowledgment of victims’ harms and needs, combined with an active effort to encourage offenders to take responsibility, make right the wrongs, and address the causes of their behavior. By addressing this need for vindication in a positive way, restorative justice has the potential to affirm both victim and offender and to help them transform their lives.”
― Howard Zehr, The Little Book of Restorative Justice: Revised and Updated.
We facilitate victim - offender forums where victims are able to fully express the impacts of the crime. Those who have caused harm admit their responsibility. Together (with supporters, if available) appropriate compensation is agreed upon and the process of healing the harms begins.
Victim - Offender mediation is the primary focus of our program. Cases can range from crimes referred by the RCMP and Crown to workplace harassment and disputes between neighbours. We strive to have cases dealt with in a timely manner so that victims needs and dignity are preserved. All parties must agree to participate and offenders MUST admit guilt. Offenders face those they have harmed, admit their responsibility and together with the victim and supporters, collaborate on an agreement to repair the harm they have caused. It is accountability on a most personal scale.
A big part of what we do is inform people exactly what restorative justice is. That involves visits to schools, community groups and businesses. We attend trade shows and put on events designed to tell the stories of RJ and show that true healing can come from this process.