At Restorative Justice Victoria, our mission is to develop and operate a restorative justice program for the benefit of the community and to educate the general public and raise community awareness about restorative justice.
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a response to crime that focuses on restoring the losses suffered by victims, holding offenders accountable for the harm they have caused, reintegrating victims and offenders into their community, and building peace. RJ views an offence as harm done to both individuals and the community; it seeks to solve the problem, repair the harm, and support rehabilitation.
Our RJ processes are run by extensively trained and dedicated staff and volunteers. In an RJ process, victims are given a voice and encouraged to state their needs and express the impact that the harm has had on their lives. Offenders must take responsibility for their actions and reflect on their lives so as to understand the causes of their actions. Offenders and victims are both active participants in the process, and offenders are faced with the opportunity to make a change in their lives that promotes healing for themselves and the victim, and has a positive impact on their community.
About Restorative Justice Victoria
We are a community justice agency that serves the City of Victoria and the Township of Esquimalt. We accept referrals from: Victoria Police, Crown, schools, ICBC, community agencies, and individuals in the community.
Participation in an RJ process is voluntary for all involved, and is applicable for both youth and adults. RJ is an option at all stages of the criminal justice system. This means that offenders can be diverted at the pre-charge stage by police or Crown, or, alternatively, Crown or a judge (upon request from the victim and with the cooperation of the offender) may also permit a restorative process to parallel traditional criminal justice proceedings. In addition, RJ can be used post-sentencing, usually at the request of the victim or offender. In all cases, the offenders must take responsibility for their actions and be prepared to address the harm they have caused. Victims are never forced to participate, and their needs are given primacy.