The Good News: Restorative Justice

Two recent news items about restorative justice caught my intention.  Which one should I let “take the day”?

The first was what I consider a bad news story.  Alberta pulls restorative justice funding, read the CBC news article headline.  The Province of Alberta will stop funding restorative justice programs.  This is hard one for me to stomach, given the long tail for conflict prevention.

The second was a good news story. The wisdom behind the use of restorative justice, read the Globe & Mail headline. Seems the authors of the Independent Review of the Canucks’ Riot last June understand the value of community & restorative justice. They’re making it one of their key recommendations, as how to deal with many of the (not hardcore criminal) rioters.

Restorative Justice in Nova Scotia

Now one of the interesting things about the Canucks Riot Review was that it was co-authored by John Furlong and Douglas Keefe.  Furlong was the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Committee CEO.  Keefe was a former Deputy Minister in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia has the 2nd largest, most comprehensive, restorative justice program in the world.  Hull in the U.K. has the largest.

Gillian Lindquist, Program Coordinator with the Victoria Restorative Justice Society participated in the recent (June) World Conference of the International Institute for Restorative Practices held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  In this 3 minute video, Gillian talks about why restorative justice has taken off in Nova Scotia. I took this video, as part of my interview of Gillian, as a community connector.  (Video not displaying? Click here)

Key elements of the Nova Scotia good news story include:

  • People came together with intention and purpose, from the get-go Day 1
  • Inclusive framework, collaboratively designed
  • Provincially-funded
  • Almost all diversions, police and crown, sent to community/restorative justice
  • Strategic partnership with a major university/research institution
  • Transparent process; communication of research results and program outcomes, both successes and challenges
  • Community is valued

Carpe Diem – Which news takes the day?

I think The Good News takes the day.  What do you think?

Is restorative justice a good news story where you live?

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  1. Thanks for the post — rj is a great way to deal with conflict and crime. I believe the Alberta story is now good news, as the government has decided to maintain funding for rj programs. cheers.

  2. Excellent news re: Alberta, Judah. I guess we weren’t alone in thinking it was a bad move/news. 🙂

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