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NEWS RELEASE · 12th February 2012
Terrace RCMP
March 30, 31, April 1, 2012

The Terrace RCMP together with the Terrace Restorative Justice Society are organizing a Community Justice Facilitator Training course on March 30, 31, and April 1, 2012. This course is free and open to all. Lunch is provided. Seating is limited.

What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice is a process used to right the wrongs that may have resulted when a crime was committed. It is a type of ‘community healing’ and recognizes that crime is wrong and should not occur but also understands that imprisonment is not an ideal solution. Therefore, it deals with crime outside of a court setting. In a restorative justice setting, both the offender and the victim are present and they both come up with a solution to re-build the relationship that was damaged by the crime.

There are many options within restorative justice. The RCMP is championing one specific process: Community Justice Forums (CJF).

What is a Community Justice Forum (CJF)?

CJF is a safe, controlled environment in which an offender, victim and their families or supporters are brought together under the guidance of a trained facilitator. Together they discuss the offence, how they have all been affected, and jointly develop a plan to correct what has occurred.

Offenders must accept responsibility for their own actions. They are confronted with how their behavior affected the victim personally - and they hear it directly from their victim. The conversations are often difficult and emotional, so a neutral, impartial and well trained facilitator is present to guide the conversation.

Each is encouraged to speak openly, honestly and fully. Together they create a plan that will satisfy the needs of everyone. Sometimes it is enough for the offender to apologize and return what was taken or fix what was broken. Other agreements may include community service work, counseling, or addictions treatment for the offender.

Other solutions are possible, and welcomed.

The benefits of Restorative Justice
-Very cost effective
- There is closure and healing for the victim
-The crime is addressed quicker with restorative justice than if the court was involved
-Both parties are heard
-The whole issue is taken under consideration before a decision is made
-The community is part of the decision making process
-Repairs relationships that were harmed by crime

For more information contact Cst. Angela Rabut, Terrace RCMP, (250)638-7400.
Restorative Justice?
Comment by Janice Robinson on 12th February 2012
In another life (previous to being taken hostage), I was a Program Developer/Instructor in numerous federal prisons across Canada. Afterwards, I was asked to take part in a previous, regional attempt at "restorative justice." At the time, it was touted as an aboriginal idea/project. Problem was, it was/held nothing traditionally Tsimshian in it at all.
The Tsimshian culture is one of the most complex and civilized cultures in the world. Yet, "restorative justice" was/is not compatible with the Tsimshian culture. You see, we practiced capital punishment when it came to serious crimes like murder and rape (A story recounts how after a "trial," a rapist of a maiden was put to death with one blow from a halibut club). Sociopaths (incorrigibles) and thieves were banished from the communities. Youths with anger/violent issues were placed in deep, cold holes (surrounded by Elders) until they were worn down. Wife beaters were unceremoniously sent home to their home communities. We did not have meth, crack or ecstasy to deal with. Those drugs induce a violent nature, and change your brain forever! I could go on...

Suffice to say, our present justice system is over-loaded, under-effective and under-funded. Are you sure a bunch of do-gooders, sitting around hoping to bring some "community justice" to the mix is going to help?

Build those new prisons Prime Minister Harper! There is justice there and effective programs. Criminals.... those who would bring harm and fear to our communities, should be ostracized for at least a while...until they can grow up and figure things out.