The Richmond Restorative Justice Program is centred on helping victims and is aimed at holding young people accountable for their crimes.
The program accepts and processes diversions/referrals from the community with a special focus on children and youth who have accepted responsibility for the harm they have caused.
Many of the referrals are made by RCMP, and others are made directly by courts and other elements of the community, including schools and businesses.
The Restorative Justice Program’s mandate is to provide an alternative approach to punishment and discipline in the traditional sense. Thus, the program seeks to bring together everyone affected by a crime or conflict, and assist all of the participants in collaboratively identifying and addressing everyone’s needs and obligations as a result of the harm that was done and, thus, achieve a just and fair resolution.
Volunteers from our own community are trained to assist those in need of the program’s services.
The Program has proven to be successful in reducing recidivism amongst young people and it builds community by encouraging people to collectively resolve conflict. When met, these objectives achieve the greater goal of creating a safer, healthier, more inclusive and caring society.
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice looks at crime through a different lens, one which places an emphasis on healing and accountability. When crime or conflict has occurred, restorative justice asks:
Who has been harmed and what are their needs?
Who has an obligation to repair the harm?
Why did this happen?
Who else has a stake in this matter and should be included?
What is the most suitable process to engage everyone who has been affected?
What are the benefits for Victims and Offenders?
Gain a voice and are able to express the pain and impact on themselves and their family
Have an opportunity to get answers to their questions
Are empowered to have a say in what should happen or is needed
Can receive support
Have the opportunity to experience healing and/or closure
Have the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and be held accountable
Can learn how their actions have negatively impacted others
Can directly participate with all of the affected parties in building an agreement that repairs the harm
Have an opportunity to receive help and closure
The Richmond Restorative Justice Program is: