What is
RestorativE Justice

Crime is not simply lawbreaking; it causes harm. Restorative Justice is about addressing harm and healing

A PARADIGM SHIFT IN UNDERSTANDING AND ACHIEVING JUSTICE

Restorative justice focuses on addressing harm, healing and relationships. It’s a relational, inclusive, flexible and participatory approach that can be complementary or an alternative to the legal system.
 
Affected parties – those who caused harm, those harmed, their families and community – are invited to participate in determining meaningful accountability, reparation, meeting needs and a path forward.

 

It’s guided by values, principles and Indigenous teachings.

Processes

Various restorative processes have been developed such as peacemaking circles, conferencing, victim offender mediation, and tribunals.

Successfully Used

Restorative practices are successfully used with youth and adults, and for all kinds of situations, from minor acts to serious violence. It is being implemented in schools, communities, workplaces and justice systems.

Meeting Needs

We aim to meet the needs of those who were harmed, those who harm, families and to build communities, in a way that upholds the dignity and human rights of all.

Evidence

Overall, evidence shows that victims are more satisfied, re-offending is reduced, agreements such as restitution are more likely fulfilled and it is more cost effective.

Global Movement

There is a growing global movement toward restorative justice. The United Nations endorses and promotes it.

More Information:

Realizing the Potential of Restorative Justice by Dr. Evelyn Zellerer published in “Reconstructing Restorative Justice Philosophy”, editors Theo Gavrielides and Vasso Artinopoulou, Ashgate Publishing.

Read our post about Diverse Applications of Restorative Justice.

We offer many resources about restorative practices in schools in our post Education: Time for Change.

Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice offers resources, including webinars, courses, articles, publications.

The Centre for Justice & Reconciliation offers an extensive library.

We also recommend books from Living Justice Press, a nonprofit publisher.

The United Nations endorses and supports the implementation of restorative justice. For example, UN Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes (2nd Ed).

The European Forum for Restorative Justice promotes research, policy and practice development, offering many resources and events.

The International Journal of Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice for All (RJ4All), a UK-based international institute has many initiatives, projects and resources.

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is a place of learning and dialogue about residential schools, including 94 Calls to Action, created out of the TRC of Canada.

Dr. Evelyn Zellerer is proud to serve on the Board of Directors, Restorative Justice Association of British Columbia, which “envisions a province where restorative justice is known for quality, accessibility and innovation.”

Indigenous Justice Association is “promoting the critical work of long-established, community based, indigenous justice programs throughout BC.”

A National Directory of Restorative Justice, is hosted by the Canadian Department of Justice.

The Government of British Columbia offers a list of contacts for many Indigenous Justice and Restorative Justice programs in BC.

Peace of the Circle aligns with the principles and values of restorative justice, including:

Inclusive
Respectful

Collaborative
Participatory
Holistic
Healing