By People’s Law School
This fall, the People’s Law School launches the first two of its Access to Restorative Justice Community Forums on the Haida Gwaii Islands. The forums, held in partnership with the Haida Gwaii Restorative Justice Program, will take place in Queen Charlotte City on September 15, 2015 and in Masset the following day. Additional restorative justice forums are scheduled for later in the fall in Prince Rupert and Terrace.
The aim of the community forums is to increase the use of restorative justice processes by victims of crime. The forums plan to address issues such as:
- How can victims of crime and offenders have better access to the restorative justice approach?
- What needs to be done to strengthen the relationships between police-based victim services and restorative justice agencies?
What is restorative justice?
Restorative justice seeks to repair the harm caused by crime by addressing the needs of victims, engaging the community in the justice process, and encouraging dialogue and healing. Restorative justice involves bringing together the victim, offender and members of the community to discuss the effects of the crime. At a restorative justice session the focus is on the impact of the crime and how to address the harm that was done.
In this approach, crime is understood not only as breaking the law, but as a violation of people, relationships and a disruption of the peace in the community.
Restorative justice principles draw from Aboriginal experience and tradition, including the belief that the community has primary responsibility for addressing crime.
You can find a description of restorative justice on the JusticeBC website.