The Centre for Justice & Reconciliation is a program of Prison Fellowship International. Its mission is to develop and promote restorative justice in criminal justice systems around the world. 

Prison Fellowship International was founded in 1979 by Charles Colson to serve prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families outside the United States. It is active in over 125 countries, working through chartered affiliates that employ hundreds of staff and engage with tens of thousands of volunteers.

In 1996, Prison Fellowship International launched the Centre for Justice & Reconciliation to serve as its knowledge center on justice and reconciliation. The Centre very quickly began to help Prison Fellowship affiliates address the injustices they continually encounter in their criminal justice and prison systems by applying restorative principles, policies, and programs.

Our mission, vision and values

It's About


Not Isolation

Led by Daniel W. Van Ness

Executive Director

Dan Van Ness has been involved with Prison Fellowship for over 30 years. In that time he has directed efforts to reform overworked, underfunded and ineffective criminal justice systems.

He let the design team that created the Sycamore Tree Project® and led a coalition of NGOs that drafted and successfully lobbied for adoption by the United Nations of Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programs in Criminal Matters.

Dan is the co-author of Restoring Justice: An Introduction to Restorative Justice and holds degrees from Wheaton College, DePaul University College of Law and Georgetown University Law Center. In 2013 he received the John W. Byrd Pioneer Award for Community and Restorative Justice from the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.

Our Leadership Team

innovative programs.

significant reforms.

expanded knowledge.

The Centre's vision is a future in which restorative justice is the normal response to crime. We have pursued this vision for 20 years by developing and promoting restorative practices, policies and theory. 

our impact

Lives Changed

Today I see an offender that wants to change

I would like to thank all the members of The Sycamore Tree program, for the opportunity you have given me to better myself, and for the time you have all invested in me. Yo...
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Listening to these people has made me stop and think

An inmate speaks at the conclusion of the Sycamore Tree Project: My name's Robert. I'm a long-term prisoner here. This isn't my first time in jail. In regards to the Sycam...
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Crime victim finds a voice in prison

In the second row of the mini-bus, Lyn Smith, in her early forties, will soon tell six prisoners about the ripple effect of being held up at knifepoint while working behind...
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I wanted revenge but found compassion

When I first heard of restorative justice I thought it was a load of rubbish. I thought that all the offender had to do was say sorry and that was it. So how would you know...
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All Stories