Restorative Justice

What is Restorative Justice?

In relation to the criminal justice system, Restorative Justice is an approach to justice that focuses on addressing the harm caused by crime by providing an opportunity for those harmed and those who take responsibility for the harm to identify and address their needs in the aftermath of a crime.
Restorative Justice seeks to repair the harm caused by crime and violence by:

  • Addressing victims’ needs
  • Holding offenders meaningfully accountable for their actions
  • Engaging the community in the justice process

Watch a short video here about Restorative Justice 

The Restorative Justice Process

While the Restorative Justice is done in different ways depending on the nature of the crime and needs of the individuals involved, the goal is to engage the parties in appropriate ways to come to understand and determine:

  • What has happened
  • Who has been impacted
  • What matters about what happened and what are the harms, impacts and experiences
  • What needs to happen to address the harms and impacts in a way that will make things right

Generally, a restorative process will involve multiple sessions that bring together those who are connected to the case. These people can include, as appropriate:

  • Those who have been harmed or affected
  • Those who are responsible for causing the harm
  • Those who can offer information or provide support the process

The plans, actions and outcomes of a restorative process vary depending on the situation, circumstances, issues and needs involved in each case.

  PEI Restorative Justice Program Brochure

Benefits of Restorative Justice for Victims

  • Victims who choose to participate can tell the offender how the crime affected them, ask questions about what has happened, and have a say in how to address the harm they have experienced
  • Participating in a restorative process can contribute to the victims’ healing and recovery
  • Most victims who participate in a restorative justice process are very satisfied with the experience and results and feel listened to and acknowledged, receive answers to their questions, experience an increased sense of safety and, in some cases, receive financial compensation from the offender (called restitution)
  • Fact Sheet for Victims

Benefits of Restorative Justice for Offenders

  • Restorative Justice helps offenders’ face those have been affected by their behaviour, understand the impact of their actions, and take whatever steps they can to address the harm they have causes
  • Offenders have an opportunity to talk about the circumstances of the crime and they can fulfil their obligations to the victim and community in ways that can be meaningful than through other criminal justice processes
  • Offenders can acknowledge the harm done to the victim and community by providing an apology, or fulfilling the conditions of an agreement between created by the participants
  • Fact Sheet for Offenders

Benefits of Restorative Justice for Community

  • Restorative Justice is empowers communities to play a role in responding to crime in a way that meaningful
  • It is an opportunity for community to talk about their values, the issues that cause/contribute to crime and concerns about community safety and wellbeing

It is important to note that restorative justice is not appropriate for all situations and cases are thoroughly assessed and discussed.

Additional Information:

For more information contact:

Email: restorativejustice@gov.pe.ca

 

Published date: 
July 14, 2021
Justice and Public Safety

General Inquiries

Department of Justice and Public Safety
4th Floor South, Shaw Building
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-4550
Fax: 902-368-5283

DeptJPS@gov.pe.ca