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An exploration of the role of spirituality in selected restorative justice programs for youth in Ontario

Green, Lara Michelle
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Arts. Department of Sociology and Anthropology Carleton University, Ottawa Ontario.

While in Canada, restorative justice is rooted in Aboriginal and Judeo-Christian spiritual traditions, little research has focussed on this area. This study sought to explore the spiritual dimension of restorative justice. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 respondents representing 12 different restorative justice programs in Ontario. These included: victim offender reconciliation programs, youth justice committees, various Aboriginal justice programs and community justice conferences. Respondents were asked a series of questions related to the role of spirituality in restorative justice programs. The findings indicate that the question of spirituality is a very complex one. A number of definitions of spirituality were offered. Three quarters of the respondents indicated that there was a role for spirituality in restorative justice processes noting that for processes to be successful, participants had to reach a meaningful level of engagement. This was related by many of the respondents to a spiritual dimension, whether explicit or implicit in the programs. The implications of these findings are discussed.


AbstractBiblical PerspectivesCourtsIndigenous JusticePoliceRJ in Schools
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