Restorative Justice

"It is clear that the incarceration rates in Canada are high relative to those in most other countries" (Roberts, 6) Over the past years Canada has relied too heavily on incarceration. However, realizing this problem Canada has turned towards restorative justice. " Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on repairing the harm caused by crime while holding the offender responsible for his or her actions, by providing an opportunity for the parties directly affected by a crime – victim(s), offender, and community – to identify and address their needs in the aftermath of a crime, and seek a resolution that affords healing, reparation and reintegration, and prevents future harm." (Restorative Justice, 8).Restorative justice brings the community, the victim, and the offender closer together and promotes healing for those affected by the crime. There are three main models of restorative justice. These models are Family Group Conferencing, Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs, and Sentencing Circles. These models are a successful way of decreasing Canada's incarceration rate. The public views restorative justice as too lenient on offenders. This view is because of the media's negative portrayal of the justice system. The public is not provided with a detailed definition of restorative justice.
The Victim – Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) involves a face-to-face meeting between the victim and the offender. The meeting is monitored by a trained community volunteer. " Victim-offender encounters are used for the purposes of healing and reconciliation" (Roberts, 295). The offender has the opportunity to see the harm he or she has done and seek forgiveness. On the other hand, the victim has the opportunity to find out why the crime was committed and to forgive the offender. This model promotes victim and offender healing. The victims fear of the offender …

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