Canadians expect to live in a society where the criminal justice system is fair and impartial, responds to the harms caused by crime and helps to keep them safe. An effective justice system encourages meaningful engagement and accountability, and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation and reintegration.
In recognition of Restorative Justice Week (November 15-22), the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is highlighting the Government of Canada’s continued support to restorative justice initiatives across the country. Through the funding announced today, Indigenous people and youth from across Canada will be able to benefit.
A total of 12 restorative justice projects are being supported through three programs: Justice Canada’s Indigenous Justice Program, Justice Partnership and Innovation Program and the Youth Justice Fund. Of the total funding, $5 million goes to research, awareness raising and education activities, including capacity-building training and pilot projects. In addition, over 40 Indigenous organizations have received additional support of approximately $500,000 in total to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on restorative justice initiatives in their communities.
These investments will help organizations support rehabilitation of individuals who are in conflict with the law by offering support and solutions, build resilience and a sense of dignity among those impacted by harm, and take into consideration the safety of the communities.
Restorative justice focusses on addressing the harm caused by crime, while holding the offender responsible for their actions and provides an opportunity for those impacted to identify and address their needs. It has been part of Canada’s justice system for decades and is used by communities, including Indigenous communities and programs, by police, courts, and corrections. This funding would further support the Government’s work in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report’s Call to Justice to help eliminate the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the Justice system.
“Restorative justice is based on respect, compassion and inclusivity. By providing a proactive alternative to incarceration in appropriate circumstances, it is about bringing opportunities for healing, reparation and reintegration. This week, in recognition of Restorative Justice Week, I am especially proud that our Government continues to encourage the use of restorative justice, and through this funding, supports various organizations rehabilitating Canadians who are in conflict with the law.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Organizations that were provided funding are: The Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society, Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club, Restorative Circles Initiative of Saskatoon Inc., Norway House Cree Nation, Kids with incarcerated parents (KIP) Canada, Makivik Corporation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, Flat Bay Band Inc., New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety – Community Services Branch, Coverdale Courtwork Society, Dalhousie University and Schulich School of Law.
Restorative justice aims to engage families and communities to participate in the healing, reparation and reintegration of youth and adults involved in the criminal justice system.
Restorative justice is based on encouraging accountability of those involved and helps to support better outcomes for victims.