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The Restorative Approach

Forget, Marc
June 4, 2015

Source: Simon Fraser University Center for Restorative Justice. Downloaded 21 August 2003.

What is known today as restorative justice began in the small town of Elmira, Ontario (Canada), one night in 1974 when two young men got drunk and vandalized twenty-two different properties. They were caught and convicted, and probation officer Mark Yantzi was responsible for preparing a presentence report. In searching for an innovative and meaningful sentencing suggestion, Yantzi presented the case to an informal group of local criminal justice volunteers and professionals that occasionally met to discuss questions of justice. In presenting the case he expressed his belief that the best thing for the community would be to have the offenders meet their victims. Dave Worth, who was involved in these meetings, enthusiastically supported Yantzi’s suggestion and encouraged him to present it to the judge. Judge McConnell eventually ordered the two young men to go along with Yantzi and Worth to meet their victims and negotiate compensation, and to come back with a report on the damage the victims suffered. This was the first experiment with what came to be known as victim-offender reconcilation programs (VORP). Abstract Courtesy of the Centre for Restorative Justice, Simon Fraser University,


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