Notes for an address by The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, PC, QC, MP Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, September 13, 2018
Extract: The first initiative is expanding the use of restorative justice, which emphasizes repairing the relationship between the victim and the offender.
Restorative justice is focused more on collaboration and inclusivity, and is often more culturally relevant and responsive to specific communities. Victims have a powerful voice, and this process allows them to be heard and to heal, while at the same time, holding the offender accountable for their actions.
In this sense, I sometimes view restorative justice as acting as a kind of “circuit-breaker” from the cycle that so many find themselves caught in.
While restorative justice has been part of Canada’s criminal justice system for over 40 years, and has proven effective over that period, it is still not widely available across the country.
A 2011 Department of Justice Canada report found that Indigenous people who completed a community-based alternative to mainstream justice, such as restorative justice, were significantly less likely to re-offend than those who did not. I am committed to expanding this resource so it can be more widely used and accepted across the country.