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Transcript of RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
A process whereby all the parties with a stake in a
particular offense come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offense and its implications for the future
The History of Restorative Justice... Where Did This Idea Come From?
First documented case of RJ was in a small Canadian
town in the 70s; two teens vandalized 22 properties
Victims of the crime met with the offenders, allowing
closure for both parties
This process helped show the offenders the
repercussions of their actions, discouraging them from committing the same crime
Orange is the New Black
Should Restorative Justice be used in our criminal justice system?
Impacts on Society
A practice that allows a victim to
voluntarily face the offender in a secure space.
The offender is given a chance to
understand the effects of his crime and attempt to make amends.
(Tsui, 2014, p. 638).
The meeting is put together and facilitated
by a trained facilitator who guides the process in a balanced manner.
(Zehr, 2002, p. 52).
Family Group Method
Brings together the victim and the offender,
as well as the friends, family, and other “key supporters” of both parties.
(Tsui, 2014, p. 639).
Tended to focus on supporting offenders in
taking responsibility, so the offender's family and/or other relevant people are especially important.
However, the victim's family is invited as well
as support for them during this sometimes emotional meeting.
(Zehr, 2002, p. 52).
Higher levels of satisfaction with the way the crime was handled and conflict resolved
Allows victims to be a part of the justice process
Offenders take responsibility of their actions and learn the consequences of their actions
(Toews, 2013, p. 10)
Identify and address harms, needs
and obligations in order to heal and put things as right as possible
(Zehr, 2002, p. 48)
Implementation in other countries/governments
Restorative Circle Method
Arrange participants in a circle, passing a
“talking piece” around the circle to assure that people speak one at a time.
Offenders, family members, sometimes justice
officials are included, but community members are essential participants as well
(Zehr, 2002, p. 52).
The value of each participant, integrity, the
importance of speaking “from the heart.
The goal of circles is to “build a sense of community
around shared community values” and to address “underlying causes of criminal” behavior
(Tsui, 2014, p. 639).
with Carolina, Jillian, Jocelyn, Raakave
The Fresh Approach of Restorative Justice
How does it compare to the Canadian Justice System?
Now this is a story all about how,
our system's gunna get turned upside down,
and I'd like to take a minute, just sit no ruckus,
I'll tell you all about this approach called restorative justice.
In a tiny Canadian town, born and raised,
restorative justice was just starting it's ways.
Just a thought, something small, nothing much,
but the approach quickly proved that it had the stuff.
When a couple of kids, that were up to no good,
starting vandalizing houses in the neighborhood.
The police officer said "I got you, you're busted,
and now we're gunna try a lil' restorative justice."
The troubled offenders met with the victims of the crime,
and the officer realized this was better than doing time.
This meeting proved to be quite beneficial,
though this method of justice remained unofficial.
Talking about what happened provided closure for everyone,
and ensured that the offenders were aware of what they'd done.
This helped stop offenders from doing it all again,
restorative justice prevailed in the end.
Abbotsford restorative justice. (2010). The history of restorative justice. Retrieved from http://www.arjaa.org/
Armstrong, J. (2014). Rethinking the restorative–retributive dichotomy: Is reconciliation possible?
Contemporary Justice Review, 17(3), 362-374. doi:10.1080/10282580.2014.944796
Dandurand, Y., Griffiths, C.T., & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2006).
Handbook on restorative
Retrieved from http://www.unodc.org/pdf/criminal_justice/06-56290_Ebook.pdf
Dzur, A. (2003). Civic Implications of Restorative Justice Theory: Citizen Participation and Criminal Justice
Policy Sciences, 36
(3/4), 279-280. Retrieved October 6, 2014, from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.torontopubliclibrary.ca/stable/4532603
Goff, C. (2014). Control Philosophy and Criminal Justice Policy. In Criminal Justice (6th ed., p. 94). Toronto:
Goff, C. (2014). Sentencing and Punishment. In Criminal Justice (6th ed., p. 300). Toronto: Nelson.
Martin, M., & National Commission (2008).
National commission on restorative justice
. Retrieved from http://
Restorative Justice Online. (n.d.). North America and Caribbean. Retrieved from http://
Porter, C. (2012, April 23). Porter: How a Toronto high school fights bullying without bullying — using restorative
talking, not discipline and suspensions.
Toews, B. (2013). Toward a restorative justice pedagogy: Reflections on teaching restorative justice in
correctional facilities. Contemporary Justice Review, 16(1), 6-27. doi:10.1080/10282580.2013.769308
Tsui, J. C. (2014). Breaking free of the prison paradigm: Integrating justice techniques into Chicago's juvenile
justice system. Journal Of Criminal Law & Criminology, 104(3), 634- 666.
Walgrave, L. (2004). Restoration in Youth Justice.
Crime and Justice, 31
, 544-545. Retrieved
October 6, 2014, from Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.torontopubliclibrary.ca/stable/3488354
Zehr, H. (2002). The little book of restorative justice. Intercourse, PA: Good Books
RJ programs are permitted:
Australia, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France, Ghana, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russian Federation and Uganda.
Police and prosecutors can suggest certain offenders to a restorative program
(Dandurand, Griffiths, & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2006, p.52)
RJ must be considered:
Impacts on Youth
A local Toronto High School has implemented from the Restorative Justice alternative method. They recreated their own peacekeeping method, called "Weston Restores, also known as Restorative Practice". It is believed to be an approachable and effective method to discipline students.
Restorative Justice is...
Responding to the needs and repairing the individual damage the crime created (Toews, 2013, p. 7).
Voluntary participation from every party involved (Zehr, 2002, p. 48).
Who has been harmed
The individual(s) obligated to respond to those needs
The best process to facilitate meeting those needs
(Toews, 2013, p. 7)
Three methods of meetings used (Tsui, 2014, p. 638).
Offenders may refuse to comply, or still maintain innocence (Armstrong, 2014, p. 370)
A 'soft' option on offenders
Not an answer to all situations
Does it really bring focus on the victim?
Offenders pretend to be changed, but only fake it to be treated more leniently and receive lesser punishments.
Offender could become hostile, make the
situation worse, or refuse to apologize
Victim could feel the offender is receiving more support than them (Dandurand & Griffiths, 2006, p.66)
“Over eighty countries use some form of restorative justice in addressing crime and it suggested that the actual figure could be closer to one hundred” (Martin, 2008, p.16)
RJ is commonly available for youth justice. (Martin. 2008)
the practices have derived from indigenous practices
for example Canada, United States, Australia, and Jamaica use circle sentencing
(Dandurand, Griffiths, & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2006, p.29)
Canada & U.S.
There is an increase of referrals to RJ in the courts
The practices are being implemented in prisons
(Restorative Justice Online, n.d, “North America and Caribbean”, para.4)
RJ practices have been incorporated into some legislation/statutes
(ex: Manitoba, Arizona)
United States’ most common process is the victim-offender mediation (Martin, 2008, p.25)
- New Zealand: is the only country which requires the police or prosecutor “to refer young offenders to mediation or to another diversion type-programme”
- Ex: Australia has implemented The Crime (Restorative Justice) Act, 2004 in the Capital Territory for adults (Martin, 2008, p.24)
Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Portugal, and Slovenia
Countries without RJ legislation:
No formal legal status regarding RJ practices, however programs are still implemented in small communities
Include: Pakistan peace committees, Middle East Sulha peacemaking, and Guatemala community- based mediation
- South Africa, South eastern Nigeria, West Africa & Uganda all use RJ practices within schools using peer group intervention
"In the absence of statutory requirements, it may be difficult for restorative justice programmes to insert itself into the daily routine of the criminal justice system" (Dandurand, Griffiths, & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2006, p.51)
(Dandurand, Griffiths, & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2006, p.53)
(Dandurand, Griffiths, & United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2006, p.50)
Regardless of this case, RJ is not new
Elmar Weitekamp, the author of
History of Restorative
, claims that "Restorative Justice has existed since humans began forming communities." (p. 81)
Some of the earliest forms of RJ began in faith-based
communities such as those of the Mennonites
Seen as a form of spiritual healing
Nowadays, it work more alongside the idea of problem solving rather than spiritual healing
Restorative Practice in Toronto
When judges feel that a minor crime has been committed by the offender, they believe the best solution to restore the peace is for the victim and the offender to discuss the offense (Goff, 2014, p. 300).
- Leaves space for improvement; the offender is able to apologize and
from the negative outcome of their offense effecting the victim.
- Understanding is the key for
is to improve the relationship between the victim and offender and restore the peace in the community by allowing the offender to take responsibility for their actions (Springer, 2003, p. 279).
How Does RJ Impact Society?
Who Does it Benefit?
In the 1990's Restorative Justice gained a huge interest from politicians.
were interested in the potential of social change aspect while the
were interested in saving the tax payers a couple of dollars. (Dzur, 2003, p. 280)
- Justice for the victims
- Responsibility for the offenders
- Saves the community money
Distinguishing punishment and treatment for youth is debatable but the odds are in favor of
for youth. It is believed that youth are unaware of the consequences of the actions. By hearing their actions from another perspective, they are less likely to re offend, now knowing the consequences (Walgrave, 2004, p. 544-545)
- Treatment; as opposed to punishment
- Reeducate; learn from their mistakes
- Rehabilitate; improve and less likely to re offend
(Porter, 2012, Toronto Star)
- Aboriginals use similar method, they traditionally use elements of Restorative Justice to keep the peace.
- Alternative sanction is determined by the community of the victim, in moderation of their needs
- As opposed to punishment, they believe in healing the relationship between the victim, offender and community.
(Goff, p. 94)
both methods want to avoid punishment (ex. innocent until proven guilty, rehabilitation, instead of imprisonment)
both methods hope that offenders learn from their mistake and deter from committing the same crime
due process presumes innocence until proven guilty, while restorative justice requires the offender to plead guilty in order to begin reparation process
restorative justice may interfere with the due process model as in order to begin restorative justice, the offender needs to plead guilty which some may argue infringes upon constitutional rights
(Abbotsford Restorative Justice, 2010)