Our guest speakers at the July 8th, 2022 meeting were Alyssa Noble and Caryl Wylie from the Arrowsmith Restorative Justice Society. Their informative presentation discussed the goals and values of the Society.
A brief description of the concept is: “Restorative justice is a philosophical framework which is an alternative to the current way of thinking about crime and criminal justice. Crime is viewed as a violation of the victim and the community, not as a violation of the state. The restorative justice model makes the offender accountable to the victim and the community. The process brings the affected parties together to hear the impact of the crime and reach a resolution which is satisfactory to those involved.”
Restorative Justice is practiced around the world and is founded on concepts of justice from indigenous communities (established initially in Australia). The Arrowsmith Society is a volunteer organization and is a registered charity. Typically, cases are referred to the Society by the RCMP. The success rate is high, with only a 5% recidivism rate; resolution is quick (usually within 30 days); costs are low; and the offender is able to make restitution without the burden of a criminal record.
More information about the Society is available on their website at https://acjs.ca. Also, on the website, an instructive brochure is available at https://acjs.ca/acjs%20brochure.pdf. The brochure explains who is eligible, how to get involved, how the restorative justice process works, victim and community benefits, etc.
We’re grateful to Alyssa Noble and Caryl Wylie for taking the time to inform us about the Restorative Justice program in our community.