Understanding Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice is a process of reconciliation that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by crime rather than focusing on the appropriate blame and punishment. It is where victims, offenders and community members can meet to decide how to justly and compassionately do that. The results are often transformative and healing, thereby “restoring” faith within the system.
Restorative Justice brings a sense of security within the community because it allows the offender the opportunity to be fully accountable and responsible. At the same time, the process enables the offender to regain a sense of their own dignity and potential value within the community. Most importantly Restorative Justice provides a safe forum for the victim to express feelings, thereby regaining a sense of dignity, self-worth and freedom.
THE BRIDGE is a Restorative Justice ministry. Our programs, while supportive and encouraging, are specifically designed to hold the offender accountable and answerable, not only for their previous actions but also for their future accomplishments.
It is in the process of becoming honest and responsible that the elements of true healing are found. With support and without judgement, we have been privileged to witness numerous experiences of healing and reconciliation. Our training in Conflict and Victim – Offender Mediation has allowed us to facilitate a number of restorative experiences. Not only have we seen families re-united, new relationships created and bad debts re-paid, we have also seen family members and victims reconciled and begin their own healing.
For many years THE BRIDGE has been actively involved with organizing the Restorative Justice conferences in Toronto, as well as facilitating a Prisoner’s Justice Day event.
Our unique and sometimes brutally honest approach have also been the focus of numerous college projects, community / church presentations and newspaper articles and television / radio broadcasts.
Should you wish more information on Restorative Justice or on programs in your community, please use the contact information below. We are always eager to speak to you or your group.