Overview

Restorative justice is a method of resolving disputes that addresses the harm caused by crime or conflict and promotes meaningful resolutions. It’s often referred to as ‘alternative dispute resolution.’

It’s a voluntary process that addresses the victim’s needs and holds offenders responsible for their actions.

How it works

If you’ve been involved in a crime or conflict, restorative justice may be suggested to you as an alternative to legal proceedings.

The process allows everyone involved to meet with a restorative justice facilitator and discuss the conflict. It can give you an opportunity to deal with the harm caused by the impact of the event.

Principles

Restorative justice is available through many communities, organizations and non-profit organizations. For a list of programs, visit Alberta Restorative Justice Association.

All restorative justice programs use the following principles:

  • participation is voluntary and based on free, informed, ongoing consent
  • all participants are treated with respect
  • the victim sought to be engaged
  • offenders are:
    • held accountable
    • encouraged to accept responsibility
    • encouraged to make amends
  • participation should be meaningful and include everyone
  • the physical and psychological safety of all participants is upheld

Meetings

During a meeting, everyone has an opportunity to speak.

You’ll have discussions that help identify:

  • the harm caused by the incident – physical, mental, emotional or spiritual
  • what can be done to repair the harm
  • who’s responsible for repairing the harm

All meetings are voluntary and you can back out at any time.

Meetings can be attended by:

  • victims
  • offenders
  • family members or the victim or offender
  • affected members of the community
  • support services

Benefits

There are many benefits to restorative justice, including meaningful resolutions and healing.

Other benefits include:

  • a reduced chance of offenders committing other crimes
  • greater satisfaction with the process among victims and offenders compared to more formal proceedings
  • active participation by communities in the resolution of crimes

Resources

Restorative Justice booklet

Contact

To connect with the Crime Prevention and Restorative Justice Unit:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-415-1819
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-638-2870
Email: cprj@gov.ab.ca

Address:
Crime Prevention and Restorative Justice Unit
Alberta Justice and Solicitor General
10th Floor South, John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7