Join us in celebrating International Restorative Justice Week
November 21-28, 2021!

An opportunity to raise awareness, learn and explore expanding applications of restorative approaches.

Historical Note

“History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard” ~ Charles Angoff

Prison chaplaincies in England 1975, created a day to remember incarcerated men and women, “Prisoner’s Sunday”. The event was adopted in Canada and other countries, and 20 years later was extended to a week, “Prisoner’s Week”.

In 1996, Correctional Service Canada renamed and expanded prisoner’s week to “Restorative Justice Week: Community, Victims, and Prisoners”; shortened to “Restorative Justice Week”. It has since been celebrated every year the third week of November in Canada.

Organically, many restorative practitioners in other countries began acknowledging RJ Week. Then restorative advocates like Dr. Theo Gavrielides simply proclaimed it to be ‘International Restorative Justice Week’ and so it now is!

We continue to further expand #RJweek around the world with each passing year. This is a beautiful reminder of our power to create.

Happy 25 years of Restorative Justice Week!


Centering Those Harmed

Restorative justice is to be victim centred and address all kinds of harm, even the most serious. Yet, restorative justice is still not widely accessible and sometimes RJ falls short of its full potential.

The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) thus chose as their theme for RJ Week 2021:

“The potential of restorative justice for victims”

Read EFRJ’s statement and position paper on the European Commission’s Victims Rights Directive– the first binding EU legislation on restorative justice and its implementation.

In Canada, the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) says every victim has the right to information about the services and programs available to them, including RJ programs. This is a step forward, yet more is still required.

As stated in Getting Fair Outcomes for Victims in Canada’s Criminal Justice System”:

“One challenge is that the CVBR provides only that a victim has a right to information about RJ “on request”. But if a victim doesn’t know about RJ in the first place, how could they possibly know to inquire about it?  The CVBR is also silent with respect to whose role or responsibility it is to provide such information to victims.”

We join EFRJ and others in calls for more accessibility to restorative justice.


Events in RJ Week

There are an abundance of events, big and small – discover what is going on in your region and perhaps offer something. Don’t underestimate the power of a conversation!

Check out this Map for RJ Week across the EU that continues to be updated by EFRJ.

Applauding launches from colleagues, like:

A city celebrating its own first annual city-wide Chicago Restorative Justice Week! Their theme is “Honoring Our Harvest”.

A new learning series by the African Forum for Restorative Justice:
Restorative Practice for Africa and Diaspora RJ Practitioners

Next offering:
22 November, 6pm GMT
Virtual via zoom

Co-organized by African Forum for Restorative Justice and Restorative Justice Initiative Midlands. Graphic @AFRJ


Let us know – what are you doing this RJ Week and beyond?


Restorative Justice Vancouver

Peace of the Circle has launched restorative justice Vancouver, unceded, traditional xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory.

We’re bringing together diverse representatives from Indigenous-led organizations, service providers including for survivors/victims, youth and seniors, LGBTQ2S+, City Council, Vancouver Police Department, Downtown Community Court, Parks & Recreation, business and many more!

Affectionately called the ‘Dream Team’, we are collaborating to create a relational, holistic, interdisciplinary, decolonizing approach to harm, healing, justice and peace.

Coordinated by Dr Evelyn Zellerer

* Funding from grants through civil forfeiture funds, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General BC.


Watch for our next post celebrating diverse ways restorative approaches are being implemented! We’ll spotlight: environment, schools, hate crime and sexual offences…