Source: (2004) Included in Restorative Justice Week 2004: Engaging Us All in the Dialogue. Ottawa: Correctional Service of Canada. Downloaded 28 January 2005.

Mark Yantzi begins this resource paper wryly noting the Canadian Law Reform Commission’s assessment in its 1974 report entitled Studies on Sentencing, namely, that if ordinary human interactions were conducted in ways similar to the ways of the criminal justice system, communication would be almost impossible. Given this assessment and the fact that the majority of violent crimes occur between people who have some prior relationship to each other, Yantzi points out that frustration with the justice system’s impact on interpersonal relationships has given rise to constructive alternatives for responding to crime. The value of restorative justice is that it focuses on the relational in order to repair and strengthen people and relationships harmed by crime. With this in mind, Yantzi urges restorative justice advocates to practice relational, restorative principles with those who work in the criminal justice system and those who have other perspectives on criminal justice.