Restorative Justice is a philosophy that views crime as a violation of relationships and recognizes that crime hurts individuals and communities. It creates opportunities for accountability, understanding, problem solving and healing.
Restorative Justice seeks to repair the harm caused by crime through the facilitation of respectful dialogues between victims and those responsible for harm.
Surrey Restorative Justice Program
The Surrey Restorative Justice Program is a volunteer based program that:
- supports youth by encouraging them to understand the effects of the harm they have done and provides them with opportunities to make amends;
- focuses on restoration and healing for victims by giving them a voice and addressing their needs; and
- provides alternatives to youth involvement in the formal court process of the criminal justice system by way of extra-judicial measures.
- Community Justice Circle - Face to face meeting where impacted parties meet and discuss how they have been impacted by an event and create a plan for resolution.
- Restorative Resolution Meeting - Committee style meeting where youth meet with trained community members to discuss the harm related to their actions and a plan for resolution.
- Mentorship - In certain cases community volunteers provide adult leadership and support to youth to fulfil their plans of resolution.
- RCMP Consultation - Staff is available to RCMP members to consult with them on appropriate files.
The Surrey Restorative Justice Program is open to Surrey youth age 12-17, who:
- have caused harm to another person, property or community through their behavior;
- acknowledge their involvement in a crime or conflict;
- consent to participate in a restorative justice process; and
- have no previous convictions or charges.
Young adults aged 18-25 who meet the above criteria may also be accepted on a case-by-case basis, providing that the offence is non-violent and they have no criminal history.
All referrals are made by the Surrey RCMP.
Benefits of Restorative Justice
Victims of crime or conflict have an opportunity to:
- discuss the personal impact an incident has had on them;
- gain a greater understanding of the incident;
- actively participate in a process of determining appropriate reparation; and
- obtain resolution and closure.
Youth who have caused harm have an opportunity to:
- take responsibility for their actions within the community;
- participate in developing a fair and reasonable agreement with those who were harmed;
- repair harm and make things right with the help of a supportive community; and
- avoid a lengthy court process and criminal record.
For the community, the program provides:
- a more expedient and cost effective alternative to court;
- an opportunity for community involvement and active participation in the judicial process;
- a greater sense of justice defined by accountability, understanding and healing; and
- an opportunity to build stronger and safer communities.
Surrey Restorative Justice Program Coordinator
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