Repairing the harm and loss caused by crime.
Prior to participating in the Restorative Justice process the young offender must meet strict eligibility criteria. All seven criteria must be met:
1. The individuals referral must be consistent with the protection of society.
2. The referral is appropriate with regards to the interest of the offender, victim and community.
3. The individual accepts responsibility for their actions.
4. The offender must be informed of, and consents freely and fully, to participation in the program.
5. The offender has been advised of his/her right to counsel without delay and is given a reasonable opportunity to retain and instruct counsel.
6. There is sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of the offence.
7. Prosecution of the offence is not barred by law.
Youth ages 12-17 are referred to the program through a number of different entry points.
- Pre-charge (police entry point)
- Post-charge (crown entry point)
- Post-conviction/pre-sentence (referral by judges)
- Corrections (referral by Correctional Service or Victim's Services)
Once the youth is accepted, staff will utilize a number of different techniques depending on the circumstances of the case.
- Community Justice Forum
- Sentencing or Healing Circles
- Victim- Offender Mediation
- Accountability Conference
The victim plays an integral role within the Restorative Justice process. Through their participation, the victim is provided a safe and supportive environment to express how they were impacted and what their needs are. This provides victims with the opportunity to ask questions and understand why the harm was done. Most importantly, the process allows victims to have a say in what needs to be done to repair the harm.
The ultimate objective of restorative justice is to help all parties develop a better understanding of the harm, of each other, and of the steps needed to make things right.
The meeting concludes with an agreement outlining how the offender will repair the harm caused by the offence.