Source: (2005) Research Summary, Corrections Research and Development. 10(4). Ottawa, Canada: Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. Downloaded 22 August 2005.

Restorative justice is an alternative approach responding to crime, where the philosophy is based on restoration and healing rather than retribution and punishment. Using a collective and humanistic approach, the goals of restorative justice focus on the offender taking responsibility and attempting to repair the harm caused, in order to facilitate healing for the victim, the community and the offender. In this approach, victims have an active role and are given the opportunity to communicate to the offender the effects the crime has had on them and suggest methods to repair the harm. Restorative justice models are varied and flexible, dependent on the preferences of the parties involved. Communication can take place through direct contact (i.e., a face-to-face meeting) or indirect contact (e.g., shuttle mediation, letter writing, shared videotapes). Regardless of the program model, the program goals remain similar. (excerpt)


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