Poverty in Canada; Solitary; RJ and sexual crime; Aboriginal Justice

December 17, 2014

The Canadian Press- Poverty In Canada: 1 In 7 Lived In Low-Income Families In 2012, StatsCan Says– The statistics are disheartening. The Guardian UK- Food banks don’t solve food poverty.- Graham Riches- Does it take a British publication to point out to Canadians that 11.6% of Canadians experience food insecurity. The economic and social implications are unacceptable and in the opinion of Louise Arbour, a human rights issue.

The Daily Beast- Dear GOP Fix the Damn Justice System!– Jonathan Alter- Are social conditions in the US today similar to those that gave rise to the French Revolution?

The Globe and Mail- Editorial- Corrections Canada failed Edward Snowshoe, and it knows it– ….”flagrant overuse of solitary confinement – a punitive measure so counter-productive that even the incarceration-crazy United States is putting an end to it.” Related- The Globe and Mail- Retired Supreme Court Justice Arbour slams practice of solitary confinement. Restorative justice may provide additional justice mechanism for victims of sexual crime, study shows– Victims should have the choice.

Montreal Gazette- Opinion: Justice for Indigenous children- the heart of reconciliation– Terry LeBlanc- “To be truly reconciled, several issues need our consideration, but one that deserves our immediate attention is the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children.”

The Toronto Star- Editorial- Doubling of native women in prison is a blight– “…just 4 per cent of Canadian women are aboriginal. Fully 40 per cent of women in federal and provincial jails are aboriginal, a staggering 97-per-cent increase in the number of aboriginal women jailed over the past decade.” More accolades for Community Justice Centre– Kudos!

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Truth & Reconciliation; RJ & Sexual Assault; Drug Courts

December 05, 2014

Yes!Magazine- Fania Davis- reporting- The US Needs a Truth and Reconciliation Process on Violence Against African Americans– “The problem is hundreds of years old, and it is one we must take on as a nation. Truth and reconciliation processes offer the greatest hope.” Can RJ stop the carnage? Is it time and is it the will of the people?

The Hill- Daniel Choi- South Korea and Japan: Restorative Justice and Reconciliation– “The chilly relationship between South Korea and Japan continues to be a significant obstacle to agreements in East Asia. Perhaps a restorative justice approach, similar to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Post-Apartheid South Africa, can create a path towards a culture of peace and reconciliation between the two states.”

iPolitics- Steve Sullivan- How to settle the Pacetti affair- without politics– Is there still a debate? Can RJ be used in cases of sexual assault (alleged)?

Huffington Post- Robert Koehler- Restorative Justice and the Rebirth of Chicago– “The vision is a city interlaced with restorative justice hubs — community centers that bring hope and promise to troubled kids in a town where too many of them are dying.”

Brandon Sun- Mia Rabson- Province awaits drug court details– ““The drug treatment court (DTC) model is a valuable alternative to the correctional system for drug-addicted offenders,” said Clarissa Lamb in an emailed statement. “Through the collaboration and co-operation between health and court authorities, positive outcomes for the drug-addicted offender are being achieved.”” Lets hope the federal government is listening and renews the funding.

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Gladue; Texas closing prisons; Aboriginal women behind bars; RJ not just about forgiveness

December 04, 2014

Legal Feeds- Funding made available for Gladue report writers in Ontario– Yamri Taddese- “Gladue reports — which include recommendations for conviction, such as restorative justice — are submitted to courts due to the disproportionate number of aboriginal people in the criminal justice system.” Culturally sensitive access to justice issue is recognized.

BBC News- Why Texas is closing prisons in favour of rehab– Danny Kruger- Read about Right on Crime and the highly successful Prison Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Canadian Press- Steve Rennie- CTV News report- Big spike in aboriginal women behind bars: government study– “The over-representation of aboriginal people in the Canadian criminal justice system has been acknowledged as one of the most challenging aspects facing the justice system today,” What is required is a concerted effort to develop services in the community so individuals are prevented from being criminalized in the first place.

Goderich Signal-Star- Restorative justice not just about forgiveness– Dave Flaherty- “Restorative justice isn’t about simply forgiving past transgressions, but allowing those who were wronged to have a voice. While restorative justice doesn’t have all the answers, it does have some.”

The Canadian Press- Jim Bronskill- CTV News report- Flexibility, partnerships key to modern policing: federal panel“Working effectively within and through this (community) web — rather than as isolated entities — will allow policing organizations to better respond to existing and emerging issues.” Makes sense for policing to engage community. They tried it in Prince Albert Saskatchewan with notable results.


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Rehtaeh; No facilities for women in custody; Protecting the rights of children; Mental Health and Justice

November 21, 2014

CBC News- Man who pleaded guilty in child porn case given conditional discharge– Everyone failed Rehtaeh Parsons. Have we also failed the victims left behind- Her father- “He said if the young man had told her he was sorry, she would have forgiven him. But, he wrote, he “did nothing when it would have mattered.””

Times Colonist- Decision to hold woman in RCMP cells ‘hard to understand’: expert– Louise Dickson- “When people are not a risk to public safety, there are ways to hold them accountable in the community, with less human cost and less financial cost, Pate said. (Kim Pate, executive director for the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies) 

Winnipeg Free Press- Indigenous children awaiting justice– Terry Leblanc- Protecting the rights of children whether it be the right to equal education or every child’s right to survival, development, protection and participation enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Canada’s record in each case is dismal.

Simon Fraser University News- Students embrace restorative justice with one-of-a-kind club. Kudos to the students at SFU.

Hamilton Spectator- Molly Hayes- Dinner shines light on benefits of restorative justice- Bridge House helps male offenders reintegrate into the community. A success story.

The Intelligencer- Chris Malette- Mental Health in Justice? It’s a crime.- The rest of Canada should follow the example of Nova Scotia’s mental health court which diverts people from the regular justice system, and has had an 86 per cent success rate, according to officials.

The Chronicle Herald- Panel: Young offenders often feel powerless– Restorative justice is the best path to help young people feel connected and able to make reasonable choices for their lives particularly when it comes to behaviours at school.

Waterloo Region Record- Carol Goar- You can be part of aboriginal reconciliation– Reconciliation means repairing the historic breach between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians and moving forward together. Read about Canadians for a New Partnership.



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Canadian Museum for Human Rights; Aboriginal Issues; Exporting RJ

November 20, 2014

Gizmag- Architecture- Stu Roberts- Ambitious Architecture does justice to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights- “It seems fitting that a museum with subject matter that’s as aspirational as human rights, should be similarly aspirational in design.”

CTVNews- John Ralston Saul:sympathy for aboriginal peoples is not enough– Michael Shulman- “…. the governments of Canada, on various levels, have mistreated aboriginals more than any other group.” In his book “The Comeback” Saul says Canadians must decide whether they will take a stand, but, regardless, there will be a “comeback” by Aboriginal Peoples into positions of power, influence and leadership. In a related story of the devastation caused by residential schools Sister Fay Trombley is on a mission to build community in Tukoyaktuk.

CBCNews- First Nations Feathers of Hope Forum focuses on justice, juries– Aboriginal youth discuss the importance of bridging a connection between aboriginal leadership and the Canadian justice system. At the end of the “Feathers of Hope: Justice and Jury” forum, youth will present their proposed solutions to government officials, First Nations leaders, police, legal and other representatives at a “listening table.” 

APTN National News- Jorge Barrera- Residential school secretariat should reveal when it knew Ottawa suppressed police documents:MP-The body responsible for settling claims from Indian residential school survivors needs to come clean about when it knew federal government lawyers were supressing information about brutal abuse at a school in Fort Albany, Ont., says NDP MP Charlie Angus. “If it is a systemic problem, then the overall apology that was made to the survivors has been damaged and the overall process that Canadians put faith in has been damaged,” said Angus.”

This twist in the residential school saga is shocking. CBCNews- Labrador residential school lawsuit postponed– “In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued an apology and a compensation package for survivors of Canada’s residential school system. However, lawyers for the federal government said it wasn’t responsible for schools in St. Anthony, Cartwright, North West River, Makkovik and Nain.”

The Toronto Star- Aboriginal medicine ruling sparks instant controversy– Alyshah Hasham- Is it a cultural issue or an obligation to protect the rights and health of the child? Related- Although differing circumstances also involving the life and health of an aboriginal child. Edmonton Journal- Tom Blackwell- ‘Kindest’ to take baby off life support, judge ruled

Innisfail Province- A special and just visit to Brazil– Exporting RJ

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Mass Incarceration; Ashley Smith; David Milgaard; Stolen Valour

November 12, 2014

International Viewpoint- Mass Incarceration and the Left– Heather Ann Thompson- “Finally, even if three decades too late, America’s politicians are beginning to take notice of the fact that we have become the country on the planet locking up more people than any other.

The Vancouver Sun- Canada’s correctional service drags feet on response to Ashley Smith inquest– Douglas Quan- “Almost one year after a coroner’s inquest into the death of Ashley Smith exposed serious gaps or flaws in the handling of federal inmates with severe mental illness, Canada’s correctional service still has not provided a formal response to dozens of recommendations arising from the case.” David Milgaard tells story of wronful conviction at Durham College– Jillian Follert- “Mr. Milgaard praised the restorative justice approach as the best way to break the cycle of crime and address the root causes of criminal acts.”

NationSwell- Thomas MacMillan- When Traditional Disciplinary Actions Don’t Work, Restorative Justice Can Bring About the Healing Process– Native American practices may be the key to reducing student violence.

Burnaby now- Cayley Dobie- Stolen valour– An interesting application of restorative justice. 

Above the Law- Steve Dykstra- The View From Up North: Changing the ‘Justice System’ into a ‘Human System’– “Throwing people in jail is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.”

CBCNews Nova Scotia- Mental Health court a success, say province and offenders– “The judge presiding over the Nova Scotia mental health court says it has been a success in turning lives around.”

CBCNews- Aboriginal- Opinion- Waneek Horn-Miller, Kahente Horn-Miller- Kahnawake First Nation attacking the human rights of its citizensA Must Read,  ….”“official” community membership is seen by many in Kahnawake as simply about blood quantum and what rights, services and privileges the correct percentage of blood can get.”

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Sesame Street; RJ in Schools; RJ in Law; Malala; Vengeance or Justice; Tsilhqot’in Nation

November 02, 2014

Sesame Street Made A Clip For Kids Who Have A Parent In Prison. It’ll Break Your heart.

Waterloo Bob Vrbanac- Building a circle of trust– Reducing school-yard incidents by bringing restorative justice practices to the classroom.

The Legislative Assembly of Manitoba- Bill 60- The Restorative Justice Act– Leading the way.

Law Times- Richard Cleroux- The Hill: Liberal justice critic hopes to address other areas besides crime– ““I want justice policy to be built around a restorative and rehabilitative approach to criminal justice founded on social science instead of ideology and bumper stickers,” says Casey.”

The Waterloo Record- Louisa D’Amato- Malala Yousafzai and her Father Zaiuddin in cooperation with the University of Waterloo will develop a peace education curriculum for Pakistani schools, through an organization called the Global Peace Council of Pakistan.

CBC News- Is Justin Bourque’s sentence vengeance- based– Experts weigh in contending that lengthy consecutive sentences are not justice.

Williams Lake BC- Canadian Press- Dirk Meissner- Justice for the Tsilhqot’in Nation 150 years later. Williams Lake Tribune- Monica Lamb-Yorski- RJ Conference

Good- Mark Hay- The Indigenous People’s Movement Bringing Long Overdue Justice to Canada

CBC News- North- Nunavut justice system ‘failing children and youth’: Inuit Group– One step forward two steps back.

Panampost- Cost of Canada’s Policing Soars, Even amid Falling Crime says the Fraser Institute

The Regina Leader-Post (SK)- Editorial- A warning of problems in our jails, dangerous crowding, but no motivation to change. Hamilton Spectator- Susan Clairmont- And when offenders are released they are not adequately prepared to rejoin society.

UTSA Today- Jesus Chavez- Texas is changing- UTSA professor champions new approaches to criminal justice


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Truth and Reconciliation; RJ at work; America, “leader of the unfree world”

November 01, 2014

The Huffington Post- Nicole Belanger- What We Can Do To Bring Peace to Canada– “If we really want a Canada that is peaceful, it’s going to take deliberate, daily action from each and every one of us to make it a reality. We’re going to have to do hard things, like opening our hearts and minds to the truth of Canada’s colonial past, and our present-day colonial reality. It’s going to require us to take a hard look at whether or not our criminal justice system aligns with our values. It will mean that we have to get real about uncomfortable topics like resource exploration and poverty. ” The values and ideals expressed relate strongly to RJ. Worth the read.

CBC News- Truth is hard but residential school reconciliation harder: Murray Sinclair– “Justice Murray Sinclair, head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says reconciliation for survivors of residential school abuse starts in today’s school system.” In a related analysis, “Canada must confront the truth“, Winnipeg Free Press,- Justice Murray Sinclair states “Since the TRC began its work, the public conversation around residential schools and the devastating effects of colonization has grown.” He suggests we all need to participate in the conversation around human rights and indigenous rights.

Beyond the Books– Wawatay News- Simon Owen- Continuing the conversation regarding the “disease of colonialism” Owen describes the concept of law from Western tradition as “outer boundaries” and from Indigenous tradition as “inner discipline” and rightfully concludes “then we cannot expect – ever – that one law or legal system will speak for or to each one of us”. The StarPhoenix- Justice Cunliffe Barnett shows us how the justice system fails the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.

Toronto Star- Katrina Clarke- ‘Spiceman’ gets conditional discharge for attacking man he thought was a theif. When restorative justice works!

National Post- Father Raymond J. DeSouza- America’s justice system gone mad ““Many states’ prison populations outrank even those of dictatorships and illiberal democracies around the world,” “. The stats are shocking.

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CoSA; RJ in schools; Aboriginal Rights; Where do RJ values begin

October 06, 2014

iPolitics- Steve Sullivan– The violent sexual assault and death of a young woman in Surrey BC by a repeat offender is fuelling the tough on crime talk. Why was he not declared a dangerous offender? And yet the federal government will cut funding to the only program CoSA that has been shown to be effective in dealing with sexual offenders. The dilemma faces all of us. How do we deal with habitual violent offenders and can community programs really keep us safe? The American judicial system continues to move away from “tough on crime.”

Brockville Recorder- Alanah Duffy- Focused on problem solving– When schools turn to restorative justice. Sonoma County Gazette- John Beck- Restoring JUSTICE

The Globe and Mail- Sean Fine- Saskatchewan courts miss mark in Aboriginal sentencing, former judge urges– “An outspoken retired judge is accusing the judiciary of failing Canada’s aboriginal peoples by ignoring their history of disadvantage when crafting sentences – even as the proportion of aboriginal men and women behind bars continues to rise.”  CIGI Podcast- Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Andrew Thompson- Indigenous Rights

Huffington Post- Mauricio Lim Miller- My Mother’s Influence: Why We Must Recognize Personal Relationships– A story of where RJ values truly begin.

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Murdered in Jail; Engaging Youth

September 23, 2014

The Toronto Star- Richard J. Brennan- Lawsuit targets ‘unbelievable’ violence at London jail- Violence, brutality, intimidation, overcrowding, mental illness is a recipe for disaster and it has been happening at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre for at least 10 years. The facts are appalling. Continue reading…

Calgary Herald- Reid Southwick- Pilot project aimed at preventing crime at a young age– “Government and social agencies have collaborated to provide students at Patrick Airlie School and Holy Trinity School in Forest Lawn with full-time phys-ed teachers and psychologists, after-school programs, better nutrition and positive interactions with police, among other help.” This makes sense. Engagement of our youth through education and fun, worthwhile activities will accomplish more than any intervention after a harm has been committed. 

This is especially true when dealing with gangs. Read more… And a related article…continue reading…

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Rwanda 20 yrs. later; Canadian gang life; RJ at work; A Moment of RJ

September 19, 2014

Thomson Reuters Foundation- Alex Whiting- Photographer finds young Rwandans building a nation of peace- …”if you hold onto hate you have no future, ….they must learn to forgive, that they must not embrace their parents’ prejudices.” Read more….

The Globe & Mail- Allan Maki- Report offers rare peek into Canadian gang life and high-risk youth- “The national crime rate continues to fall;…. Gang-related violence, however, is still on the rise.” Why do young people join gangs? What should we do to help youth make different choices? Continue reading…

The Guardian- Anna Bawden- How restorative justice is steering young offenders away from crime- The interesting point in this article is how the young offender was required to make amends to the community after his arrest for criminal damage. Read more….

Truthout- Jean Trounstine- A Moment of Restorative Justice- “For those of us who witnessed this, it was a moment of grace and an example of why restorative justice was created.” Continue reading….


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RJ: The way we chose to be in the world; Can RJ be used in cases of domestic violence?

September 11, 2014

East Tennesean- Shae Keane- Impeachment or restorative justice?- A student speaks about restoration, transformation and the way we choose to be in the world. Read more….

The New York Times- Opinion- Leigh Goodmark- Healthy Alternatives to Prosecution Can Help Victims- The debate about whether RJ can be used in cases of domestic violence is ongoing…. Read the opinions for and against.

CBCNews- Nova Scotia- Nichele Benn faces more charges after spat at Quest- Have we learned nothing from the death of Ashley Smith? Read more….

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RJ and Community Policing; Restorative Circles to resolve Financial Fraud

September 10, 2014

CNN Opinion- John D. Due Jr.- Restorative Justice is a win-win- “Restorative justice is central to the success of community policing.” says civil rights veteran John Due. If police engage with offenders, victims and civic leaders, they can be a force for uniting places like Ferguson. Read more….

Sun News/QMI Agency- Alberta First Nation board members collected nearly $3M while community lacked running water, audit shows. The response from the Lubicon Cree community is to hold restorative justice circles to begin healing and rebuilding. Read more….

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Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians: by what means?; Recidivism Down

September 05, 2014

The Canadian Press- Stephanie Levitz- Former PM’s Paul Martin, Joe Clarke join forces with Aboriginal Leaders- “A complete breakdown in the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians must be repaired for the moral and economic good of the country, a high-profile panel said Thursday. But while the establishment of Canadians for a New Partnership is being heralded as a way to do so, one First Nations chief says true reconciliation is likely to require more than just dialogue and education.” Continue reading….

The Guardian- Jocelyne Lloyd- Number of people who reoffend dropping: Justice department- “Prince Edward Island is the first province in Canada to use the made-in-Canada program that trains probation officers and youth workers to help those who come into conflict with the law to get back to living normal lives. Since it was introduced two years ago, the number of people who have reoffended has dropped by 14 per cent.” Read more….

Thomson Reuters Foundation- Katy Migiro- Police offer woman who killed Kenyan teenager with FGM a cow for retiring- The circumstances are horrific but this too is restorative justice. Read more….

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Federal Government puts itself above the law when it comes to Residential Schools

September 04, 2014

NetNewsledger- James Murray- Charlie Angus Taking on Justice Minister over Residential Schools- “….the Federal government cannot choose to place itself about the laws of the land simply because it is the defendant.” But that is exactly what the Harper government has done. Read the full letter….

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Tough on Crime Agenda; Relationships turn around crime rates; Forgiveness for peace

September 03, 2014

CBC News- Jason Proctor- Robert Latimer case: How Harper’s tough agenda ignores individual nature of crime- “Our justice system is a reflection of what we consider right and wrong as Canadians, a chance to show the worst among us our better selves. Not to prejudge anything — including punishment. All crime is unique in its impact on victims. All criminals are individuals. And sometimes, they’re people we know.” Justice requires choices to serve the needs of victim, offender and community and should be tailored to individual cases, not a one-size-fits all. Continue reading…..

The New York Times- Kate Zernicki- Camden Turns Around With New Police Force- One of the pillars of restorative justice is about relationship. Read how a police force by going back to the basics of relationship change the crime rate.

Reuters- Columbia’s war victims ask country to support peace talks- “Victims of Colombia’s 50-year-old war pleaded with peace negotiators to reach a deal and said they were willing to forgive heinous acts of cruelty, urging Colombians to unite behind the effort to end the bloodshed.” A return to peace and prosperity, RJ’s broad scope- Read more…

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RJ in campus sexual assault??; Federal ‘tough on crime’ plan costs; Restorative practices in schools

September 01, 2014

The Washington Post- Valerie Strauss- Does ‘restorative justice’ in campus sexual assault cases make sense? Read more about the pros and cons…..

Calgary Herald- Jason Van Rassel- Federal ‘tough on crime’ plan could cost Alberta $18M a year- “….. Canada’s crime rate consistently decreasing since historic highs in the 1990s, and at its lowest point in 40 years. “The Harper government and the Alberta government are 20 years behind the times,” said Ian Savage of the Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyers’ Association.” Read all…..

Daily Pilot- Hannah Fry- Restorative practices in schools are becoming part of the school boards agenda- a good sign. Read more…

Share News- Support worker struggles to help Black inmates- The John Howard Society at work. More needs to be done to help Black inmates learn new life skills to change their lives when released. Read more…..


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Peer Juries- RJ or not?; Crime and Poverty; Anger, Forgiveness Redemption

August 22, 2014

OpEdNews- Joan Brunwasser- Are peer juries a restorative process? Decide for yourself…..

The Economist- Crime and poverty are associated, but how? The answer might surprise you. Read more….

The Oregonian- Edwin Rios- After anger and forgiveness comes redemption. The true meaning of RJ. Read more…

Carbondale Community- Chris Hottensen- Restorative justice discipline plan changes path of student- Disruptive behaviour in children always has underlying causes. Children deserve second and third chances. Read more….

ArchDaily- Conner Walker- Prisoners Designing Prisons- Restorative Justice in Action- Read more… In a related article in the Los Angeles Times- Lee Romney- Read more….

Law Times- Yamri Taddese- Canada’s prison paradox- Crime is falling yet prisons are overcrowded and more are being built. Why? Read more…

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Harper’s PR Obsession; Cut to Prisoner’s Pay; Prisoner’s Justice Day

August 14, 2014

iPolitics- Steve Sullivan-  “…the “Tackling Violent Crime Act,” the “Truth in Sentencing Act” and the “Increasing Offenders Accountability for Victims Act” have encountered problems in the courts, despite their catchy titles. The courts, it seems, prefer good law over bad PR….” Continue reading…

The Toronto Star- Donovan Vincent- Pay for inmates for various types of work has been slashed form $1.40/hr to $0 and from $3/day to $2/day. Prisoners often use their pay to help support family members, pay for family visits and calls, save for their release from prison, and to pay for personal hygiene products, over the counter medications and other items that were previously subsidized. Continue reading…..

CBCNews- “Prisoners’ Justice Day in Canada. It’s a day when thousands of inmates across the country fast and refuse to work to recognize the hundreds of inmates who have died in custody in the past four decades.” Continue reading….

The Windsor Star- Derek Spalding- Canada promises $3.6M to continue youth justice reform in Ukraine. Read more…

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RJ Pitfalls

August 12, 2014

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange- OP-ED: John Lash- The greatest threat to restorative justice (RJ) is co-optation by the current system.

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UK- RJ Pros and Cons; RJ Circles help a community; Victims choice-residential school documents

August 11, 2014

UK -Exeter Express and Echo– In 2012-2013 in Devon and Cornwall 1/3 of crimes committed were dealt with utilizing restorative justice. They included rape, other sexual offences, burglaries, drug trafficking and other crimes of violence. Outcomes were less than stellar and local MP Ben Bradshaw is calling for limiting the use of restorative justice. An insight into the lower levels of harm reparation in Devon and Cornwall as compared to some other jurisdictions can be found in the OUPblog by Mark Austin Walters. Inexperienced practitioners, coercion by police to participate in the process and the lack of restorativeness of the intervention. 

Sonoma County Gazette- Seeking Justice means different things to different people- Vesta Copestakes- Restorative Circles help a community make sense of an Officer involved shooting death. Continue reading….

The Toronto Star- Court orders residential school documents destroyed- after 15 years– Tim Alamenciak- “Justice Paul Perell issued a direction in writing this week ordering the records be destroyed after a 15-year holding period and notice process that would give survivors the choice to maintain their records in an archive.”


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Canada’s great First Nations experiment

July 30, 2014

The Globe and Mail- Jeffrey Simpson- Opinion- “Canada, without being sure precisely how to proceed, is trying to do something with aboriginal peoples in its midst that no other country in the world is attempting. The effort involves taking the principles and statements of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 about fair treatment of natives and respect for their rights and updating and giving practical effect to those ideals for the 21st century.” Continue reading….


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Til the Cows Come Home; Change Jail Mentality; How Gangs Work

July 28, 2014

Til the Cows Come Home– “The future of food, the future of justice, the future of democracy converge on this issue of the prison farms so profoundly.” Andrew McCann- The documentary is now available for showings locally. Watch the preview.

Australia- Sydney Morning Herald- Eileen Baldry- Change jail mentality and there will be fewer offenders– The comment asks all the right questions Do more prisoners equal a better, safer society? If crime is decreasing why are prison numbers increasing? Are we using prisons to penalize serious crime or to manage social problems? Where would the billions be better spent- prison or education?

UK, Bracknell,- Get Reading- Jennie Slevin- Encouraging results from restorative justice scheme in Bracknell      Kent Online- Ed McConnell- Maidstone restorative justice project scrapped  Two sides of the same coin. Can RJ practice be used to solve all harms. These reports suggest maybe not.

The Vancouver Sun- Kim Bolan- New B.C. booklet describe how gangs work. Called Understanding Youth and Gangs, the publication explains how teens are most vulnerable to being recruited by gangs when they have a driver’s licence and a need for cash.



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Police Encounters with People in Crisis; RJ an election issue

July 27, 2014

CTV News- Kendra Magione- Former SCC justice issues ‘lethal force’ report- ‘Police Encounters with People in Crisis’   84 recommendations are offered including the use of police psychologists in the recruiting and training phases, wearing of body cameras and increased use of tasers. Reactions have been mixed. Read more…….

Arizona Daily Sun- Michelle McManimon- RJ is one of the hot button issues in this years election for Justice of the Peace in Coconino County, Arizona. RJ as art of an election platform is hopefully something we will be seeing more of. Read the article……

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Practical RJ; Justice System Reform; Recalibrating Justice; Set up to Fail

July 24, 2014

The Toronto Star- Alyshah Hasham- ‘Spiceman’ case sent to unique restorative justice program before sentencing. Read more….

The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics– Police- reported crime statistics 2013- Overall crime rate is down.

The Globe and Mail- Vancouver- Opinion- Geoff Plant- Making the case for justice system reform- “Fundamentally, what citizens want is not legal process for its own sake, but workable, affordable, comprehensible processes that actually solve their problems. Putting citizens’ needs first, rather than legal traditions, is the way to justice reform that will actually make a difference.” Read more….

The Vancouver Sun- Ian Mulgrew- Canada would be wise to follow the U.S. lead on law and order- Recalibrating Justice: A Review of 2013 State Sentencing and Corrections Trends. “Lawmakers exhibited a willingness to pursue change consistent with the growing body of research that demonstrates carefully implemented and well-targeted community-based programs and practices can produce better outcomes at less cost than incarceration.” Read more….

Ottawa Citizen– Chris Cobb- Canada’s jails filled with victims of risk-averse bail system– “A majority of the 25,000 people held in Canada’s overcrowded provincial and territorial jails are legally innocent and victims of a malfunctioning, risk-averse bail system, according to a damning new study by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.”

Fort Francis Times Online- Heather Latter- Victims Services has new resource

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Responsive regulation; Seal or destroy residential school testimony; Youth Promise Act(US)

July 18, 2014

Burlington Free Press- Vermont- Tim Johnson- “The notion of responsive regulation has something in common with restorative justice, an approach that summons community resources to address criminal behavior and its impact. Both responsive regulation and restorative justice draw heavily on social networks in an effort to build trust and understanding in ways that can forestall bureaucratic or legalistic fiats.” Valerie Braithwaite spoke at an RJ conference at the University of Vermont touching not only upon RJ but RJ practices in relation to child protective systems. Read more….

CBCNews- Julian Sher- Prostitution not an equal crime for men and women- “given the vulnerable role women have in the sex trade, should we be treating this as a situation where punishment should be handed out evenly?” A thoughtful analysis of the proposed prostitution law. Read more…

The Canadian Press- Colin Perkel- “The sensitive testimony of survivors of Canada’s notorious residential school system should be sealed for decades rather than destroyed, because destruction would damage the historical record, an Ontario court heard Tuesday.” Ensuring promised confidentiality and avoiding revictimization of survivors versus maintaining a historical record so victims voices will not be forever silenced. Read more…

The Baltimore Sun- Editorial- Youth Promise Act will reduce juvenile violence, crime and incarceration breaking the school to prison pipeline. Read more…. Youth Promise Action- The legislation.

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Grassy Narrows still looking for justice; The importance of housing

July 14, 2014

rabble .ca- Michael Butler- “There is a long history of Grassy Narrows facing environmental colonialism where industry and government collude to pollute the lands and bodies of the people in the region.” This is a complex story, read more……

The Calgary John Howard Society- Clients transitioning from institutions and homelessness, the importance of housing. A video worth watching…

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Palestinian/Israeli Relations; RJ & Diet Discipline?;PRI 25th; N.L. Prison Violence

July 14, 2014

The Jewish Daily- Forward- Sigal Samuel- Families of slain Israeli and Palestinian teens turn to each other for comfort. A peace process that works. Read more….

Huffington Post- Corey Levine- Restorative justice and diet discipline?? Read more…..

Penal Reform International- To mark our 25th Anniversary and prepare for the Crime Congress in Qatar in April 2015, PRI has launched a series of monthly expert guest blogs, addressing interesting current trends and pressing criminal justice challenges in criminal justice and penal reform. Blogs will be available here on our website and as podcasts on the 25th of each month from May 2014 to April 2015. Prisons: State duty or market opportunity? Read More…….. Radicalization and de-radicalization in prison- what should we do with violent extremist offenders? Read more……

The Canadian Press- Sue Bailey- N.L. justice minister worried future prison violence could be deadly. “St. John’s defence lawyer Bob Simmonds has raised concerns about everything from air quality to basic cleanliness at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary for years. Simmonds has a ready answer for those who say public money shouldn’t finance “hotels” for convicts. Warehousing inmates in what he calls “an old dump” isn’t the best way to rehabilitate and curb reoffence rates, he said.” Read more……

Australia- Perth News Now- Emily Moulton- Perth magistrate Catherine Crawford wants Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder offenders spared prison. Her reasons make sense. Read more…..

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RJ available to every victim of crime who wants it

July 11, 2014

UK- Western Daily Press- Opinion: Restorative Justice: Coming face-to-face with your burglar.- This article is nothing new to advocates and those who work in the field. The last line defines RJ’s current mission.                           But the challenge now is to ensure that restorative justice is made available to every victim of crime who wants it, wherever they live, and at every stage of the criminal justice process.” Read the article……

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Canadian Teachers Learn About Genocide; Standards for VOD; Youth Justice

July 10, 2014

The New Times- Athan Tasobya- Rwanda: Canadian Teachers Learn About Genocide- “We are happy to share our past experience with the rest of the world. And showing them how we pulled ourselves from a very difficult situation, by initiating Gacaca court system that played a very significant role in Rwanda’s unity and reconciliation,” Justice Minister Johnston Busingye. Continue reading……

Victim-Centered Victim Offender Dialogue in Crimes of Severe Violence– 20 Essential Principles for Corrections-Based Victim Services- Developed by the NAVSPIC VOD Nationl Standards Subcommittee- developed south of the border this document provides excellent insight into the most challenging area of RJ and serious crime.

The Globe and Mail-Editorial- Every Canadian deserves justice. Even Omar Khadr– “Under international law, he was a child soldier, more victim – of al-Quaeda and his own family – than accomplice.”  CBC News- Omar Khadr wins appeal. Continue reading…..

Times Colonist- Louise Dickson and Lindsay Kines- Vancouver Island girl, 15, confined five days in Kamloops police cell.- “The needs of vulnerable youth are being put behind the need to save a few more pennies.” Read more……

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First Nations Land Rights; Inmates and Victims- Addressing Serious Crime ; Assault leads to career

July 07, 2014

The Huffington Post- Will Braun- Harper, Stop Fighting Aboriginal Peoples and Learn to Share- “In this supposed era of reconciliation, the federal government sent lawyers to court to line up against the Tsilhqot’in. If Ottawa had its way, the court would have denied the Tsilhqot’in title to their traditional lands, sent them back to court and entrenched the status quo.”  Read more….

The New York Times- Dina Kraft- By Talking, Inmates and Victims Make Things ‘More Right’- Is it worth pursuing restorative practices when it involves serious crime and ‘hardened criminals’. Read more…

NPR- National Public Radio- After Assault, Woman Finds Hope and Career in Restorative Justice- “Lorenn Walker works to help both victims and offenders after crimes are committed. She’s a restorative lawyer from the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii, where she focuses on violence prevention and works on re-entry programs for prisoners.” Continue reading….

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Jobs and Justice

July 03, 2014

iPolitics- Steve Sullivan- “By making it harder for people convicted of crimes to obtain pardons, the government is making it far harder for those people to find jobs — to support their families, to pay taxes, to make restitution to their victims and find safe housing. Even the Harper government has acknowledged employment reduces recidivism.

The complete overhaul of the pardon system was never justified as a means to reduce crime; it was, in fact, a stupid thing to do. It works against the interests of public safety.” Read more….

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Order of Canada

July 01, 2014

Edmonton Sun- Catherine Griwkowsky- “Irene Fraser of Millet has been named a member of the Order of Canada for her work as a social justice advocate, championing the fair treatment of First Nations and Métis people in the justice system.”

European Forum for Restorative Justice– For up to date RJ news from all over Europe- worth reading!

Restorative Practices eForum– Newsletter

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Stephen Harper’s incoherent approach to crime; Landmark Supreme Court ruling

July 01, 2014

Toronto Star- Opinion- Edward l. Greenspan, Anthony N. Doob- “The criminal justice system needs thoughtful comprehensive legislation dealing in an integrated manner with difficult issues.  In 2003, Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act replaced the discredited Young Offenders Act. Criticism of youth justice laws virtually disappeared.” Continue reading…..

Not strictly RJ, but an important ruling- The Vancouver Sun- Peter O’Neil- Landmark Supreme Court ruling grants land title to B.C. First Nation

National Post- Comment- Benjamin Perrin- Canadian Victims Bill of Rights- “What is given with one hand (new legal rights) is taken with the other (no legal remedy if they’re breached).” Continue reading…..

Ottawa Citizen- Andrew Seymour- ” ‘Horrific conditions’ in crowded jails signal need for overhaul, says John Howard Society” Continue reading…

For the POV held by the majority, a viewpoint RJ cannot afford to ignore- The Gazette- Christie Blatchford- “…an indictment on Canadian sentencing” Continue reading….

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RJ in Action

June 25, 2014

Chalkbeat- New York- Jackie Schechter- The education system is where RJ practices will begin to create the paradigm shift RJ advocates promote. New York is getting it right and taking action and getting results. Continue reading…

Oakland Local- Restorative Justice by the numbers- Some interesting stats and a shout out to Albert Eglash, a New York psychologist who coined the term “restorative justice” in 1958 and is considered the most important figure in the revival of the modern RJ movement. Continue reading…

Good News- Albert will spend $360,000 on RJ.

Seychelles News Agency- John Lablache- Even in paradise serious crime and RJ are in the news.

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NZ Overhaul of prison system; “Burning Down the House”

June 23, 2014 – Jess McAllen- Despite being touted as one of the most progressive countries in the world when it comes to the use of RJ within its justice system New Zealand is calling for a stronger emphasis on RJ, one that does not only involve minority populations. The battle between “tough on crime” and “soft on crime” rages on…. continue reading.

“Burning Down the House- The End of Juvenile Prison”– Nell Bernstein- Bernstein’s new book, takes an in-depth look at juvenile incarceration. “The greatest predictor of adult incarceration and adult criminality wasn’t gang involvement, wasn’t family issues, wasn’t delinquency itself,” Bernstein says. “The greatest predictor that a kid would grow up to be a criminal was being incarcerated in a juvenile facility.”

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Victims of Crime Research Digest; Residential Schools

June 20, 2014

Victims of Crime Research Digest– A Snapshot of Cyberbullying;  Assisting Victims Through Technology- Continue reading

The Canadian Press- Chinta Puxley- Residential Schools Canada: Evidence of Abuse Could Be Destroyed

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Women’s Roles in Peace building; States of Incarceration Stats

June 13, 2014

Thomson Reuters Foundation- Emma Batha- UK launches plan to boost women’s roles in ending wars and building peace– “Foreign Secretary William Hague said that since the end of the Cold War, women have made up just 4 percent of signatories to peace agreements, less than 3 percent of mediators, and less than 10 percent of those sitting around the negotiating table.” Read more…

Thomson Reuters Foundation- Anastasia Moloney- Will millions of Colombian war victims get truth and justice?– “For decades, victims in a war between government troops, leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries, and fueled by the cocaine trade, have been clamouring for justice and the truth.”

States of Incarceration: The Global Context/ Prison Policy Initiative- Continue reading just for the data and statistics!

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RJ in the news- positive steps forward

June 12, 2014

Patheos- Eve Tushnet- From Zero Tolerance to Restorative Justice in Schools

Medill Reports- Chicago- Natasha S. Alford- Teens teach each other lessons in Justice

Medill Reports- Chicago- Natasha S. Alford- Restorative justice at work

The Guardian- UK- Rick Muir- Restorative Justice can help heal relationships broken by crime

EIN News- Burlington Coat Factory expands deployment of Corrective Education Company’s Restorative Justice education program

New Zealand- Department of Corrections- Prisoner Artworks to benefit Restorative Justice Trust

Hull Daily Mail- UK- Restorative Justice is not a soft touch

KCET- Alicia Virani- Restorative Justice the transformative power of an alternative

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Youth justice resources; Youth drug prevention funding; Residential schools

June 12, 2014

The Sackville Tribune Post– “A new youth justice website that is intended to give children and youth in New Brunswick an understandable online resource about the law was launched by the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick (PLEIS-NB). Check it out it is excellent!

Nova Scotia- Feds to fund more youth drug prevention projects across Canada. Investing in the health and well being of young people benefits all of us immeasurably.

Residential School Settlements under investigation

Justice Murray Sinclair on residential school legacy. ““We want to create a national memory for this country about residential schools so that nobody in the future will be able to say this didn’t happen, or it didn’t happen that way,” said Sinclair.”

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Cyberbullying Bill Causing Controversy- Tiananmen- TAG

June 12, 2014

Legal Feeds- by Yamri Taddese- Ontario justice groups launch access action. TAG The Action Group on access to justice has the right idea. Some alternative justice groups are involved, however this is the table at which RJ needs to demand a seat and be heard!  

Law prof at Tiananmen reflects on 1989 crackdown and supports the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to deal with what happened.

CBC by Susan Mas- “Bill C-13 would protect young people from online bullying by making it illegal to post or transmit an “intimate image” of another individual without that person’s consent. But it’s the provisions that have to do with bringing police search and seizure powers up to date with current technology that have raised serious privacy concerns.”

But in today’s climate of sharing every minute detail is it reasonable to expect privacy or does John Adams, the former chief of Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) have a point…….

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Restorative Justice in Lithuania

June 10, 2014

Neil Funk-Unrau, a professor at Menno Simons College, a college of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg has recently spent time in Lithuania teaching Restorative Justice. His reflections are an interesting read. Restorative Justice in Lithuania.

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How to avoid ‘kindergarten antics with your neighbours.

May 27, 2014

The Globe and Mail- Zosia Bielski- The story of two couples embroiled in a $1.8-million lawsuit over dog doo, surveillance cameras and a staring problem in the wealthy Toronto enclave of Forest Hill has caught the attention of many neighbours this week.

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Love creates space for restorative justice.

May 21, 2014

Eureka Street – Andrew Hamilton describes the essence of restorative justice. Can we make the shift in thinking required to include love in penal justice?  “The health of the victims of crime and of the community depends on people trying to make the impossible possible.”

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Is it time for a climate change peace and reconciliation process?

May 20, 2014

Viewing restorative justice processes in different contexts- an interesting dialogue. 

Thomson Reuters Foundation- Laurie Goering- “Could a peace and reconciliation process between big climate polluters and their victims be one way to move forward action on climate change?”

Thomson Reuters Foundation- Terry Cannon- Although set in the context of climate adaptation, the question is relevant to and needs to be asked about RJ- “Why do we pretend there is ‘community’?

The Toronto Star- Tim Harper- RCMP report on aboriginal women puts numbers to our national shame


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Can restorative justice inform traditional justice in different ways?

May 14, 2014

How does RJ fit into the justice picture when the discussion turns to areas such as drug treatment courts, mental health courts, and cyberbullying? The Manitoba drug treatment court is in jeopardy because of loss of funding. A ‘miscarriage of justice’ prompts calls for mental health court in Edmonton. Parents of teens who have committed suicide because of cyberbullying have differing views on the federal anti-cyberbullying bill. These are not traditional areas for RJ. How does RJ add its voice? 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada website- an excellent resource with numerous articles and up to date information.

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UN report on Aboriginals warns of crisis in Canada

May 13, 2014

CTV News- “In a new report released Monday, James Anaya — the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples — says there appears to be a high level of distrust among aboriginal Canadians toward both the federal government and the provinces. The report notes that the “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered aboriginal women has further strained relations, and it calls on Ottawa to launch “a comprehensive, national inquiry” into the issue of why aboriginal women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse.”   The Canadian Press– And yet “British Columbia’s justice minister insisted Monday that a notorious section of highway in the province’s north known as the Highway of Tears is safer today than it has been…….” Read more.

The Canadian Press- ‘Tough on crime’ still on trend in Canada, but going out of style in the US- WASHINGTON — “A pair of newly released reports show two countries moving in opposite directions on law and order: Canada gearing up for stricter sentencing laws just as the tough-on-crime era winds down in the United States.” Even Conservative supporter Conrad Black states- “It is a completely rotten system……..”  Calgary Herald- ‘The rise & fall of America’s tough on crime era, through the eyes of on inmate’

Getting to the Root of Restorative Justice on the Radio– by Citlalli Chavez- worth a listen with some great links!

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CBC NEWS- War on drugs a global failure, London School of Economics

May 12, 2014

Ending the Drug Wars– “Based on rigorous economic and social analyses of primarily the U.S., Latin America, West Africa and Asia, the authors urge that global resources shift from prosecution and imprisonment to more “effective evidence-based polices” such as harm reduction, treatment and public health strategies. Similar recommendations are suggested for Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.”

Current policies have helped push the black market drug trade to as much as $300 billion, and the 40 per cent of the world’s nine million prison inmates are jailed for drug-related offences — a figure that jumps to 59 per cent in the U.S. Moreover, between 70 and 85 per cent of American inmates are in need of substance abuse treatment.”

Globe & Mail- Justice Canada chops research budget by $1.2 million– “The federal Justice Department has chopped $1.2 million from its research budget, and is tightening control to ensure future legal research is better aligned with the government’s law-and-order agenda.” Research should be carried out to inform government policy not support government ideology.

Winnipeg Free Press- Restorative Justice legislation expected this spring. “Manitoba announced it will introduce legislation this spring that’s intended to expand the use of restorative justice as a way to reduce crime and relieve the burden on the province’s justice system.”

US Man back in prison after being released 90 years too soon– After serving 8 years and being out in the community for 6 years with a new family, good job and upstanding life Rene Lima-Marin is back in prison because of a clerical error. Does this situation tell us that the principles of RJ restoration, reconciliation, reintegration, responsibility, non-violence can help to inform how we view serious crime.  

The Jakarta Post- Police to use restorative justice in fatal bullying case…..


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Youth Criminal Justice Act works, Prof. says

May 09, 2014

The Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy hosted a conference this week focused on achieving the best outcomes for children. Speaker Nicholas Bala, a lawyer and law professor from Queen’s University.

The Conservative government’s mandatory victim surcharge is creating serious conflict between itself and the judiciary. Does it help victims?

Missing, Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada Number More Than 1000– Yet the Conservative government is resisting renewed calls for an inquiry.- “It’s a human-rights issue. We do it for salmon. We do it for corruption … how come we don’t have the same thing for missing and murdered aboriginal women?”

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More Bulging Prisons Loom Federal Watchdog Says

May 08, 2014

The auditor general sees more overcrowded Canadian prisons on the horizon, despite the Conservative government’s much-touted revamp of federal penitentiaries.

Individual injustice, collective struggle: Examples from migrant justice organizing- Not strictly speaking about RJ but an example of how RJ principles and values affect so many areas of life.

Australia gets it right– “Justice reinvestment involves the rebalancing of criminal justice expenditure from custody to community-based initiatives that tackle the causes of crime, rather than the results of crime, and is a key mechanism for addressing reoffending and making the justice system more effective and efficient.”

Ontario faces the prospect of two-tier justice–  “the drastic overrepresentation of aboriginal peoples within both the Canadian prison population and the criminal justice system reveals a sad and pressing social problem.” This was in 1999. Sadly, nothing much has changed since, and inadequate underfunding of legal aid plans across the country will only ensure that nothing does.

Saskatchewan gets it right– “Faced with a tsunami of marginalized citizens and the flood of crime that came in its wake, former Prince Albert police chief Dale McFee and others had two choices: They either could continue a classic police approach of tough enforcement that required more resources, or they could take an informed view of and take pre-emptive steps. Fortunately for Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and even Canada, they chose the latter.”

Inquest into First Nations students deaths may be delayed– “The issue was highlighted more than a year ago in a scathing report by retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci, saying the justice system was failing Aboriginal people. He noted that First Nations leaders “were unequivocal that reintroducing restorative justice programs would have multiple benefits at the community level.”

An overview on how we arrived at our modern justice system and a lawyers perspective on the federal victim’s bill of rights. Has RJ been pushed aside? “However, at its core, the movement toward putting victims “at the heart of our judicial system” is about participation and restitution — concepts that hearken toward vengeance and retaliation, and away from proportionality and rehabilitation.” 

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Victims’ rights Bill Lacks Resources

April 16, 2014

“The Victims Bill of Rights introduced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper this month makes a lot of promises but offers no new money to better fund victims services or restorative justice programs that operate largely on a volunteer basis, critics say.”

Victims’ rights bill- View from Saskatchewan– “There’s more politics than practicality in the Conservative government’s new victims’ rights bill, which has lost sight that the best time to stand up for victims is before they become so.”

Federal Government helps Nova Scotia in fight against crime. “The Community Justice Society is delighted and excited to have the opportunity to be part of this unique project CeaseFire/Cure Violence where a public health model to stop shootings and killings is used.”

Lillooet News, BC– “The St’at’imc Restorative Justice (SRJ) Program celebrated its 10th anniversary….” 

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Panel considers bid for restorative Justice for lawyers

April 15, 2014

“In what was the first argument for restorative justice for a non-aboriginal person, a Law Society of Upper Canada hearing panel has considered….”

From New Zealand- Probably the most controversial application of RJ- Restorative Justice in Sexual Abuse Cases

 The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child–  “….governments are obliged to create laws and policies that honour the rights of every child.” Should restorative justice be about more than righting the harms between victims and offenders but also about providing opportunities for every child in order to avoid harms occurring in the first place.

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Bill C-32 Victims Bill of Rights Act

April 11, 2014

On April 3, 2014, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Peter McKay, introduced Bill C-32. MacKay states, “This bill is to create a Canadian victims bill of rights and entrench the rights of victims into federal law for the first time in Canadian history.”

“With the passing of this new law, victims will be empowered to ask questions and get answers about their offender’s history, bail conditions, plea bargains, parole terms, and other assorted procedures that to date …..”

A different perspective “….the problem with the Victim Fine Surcharge is that large numbers of offenders are poor, and when they don’t pay the surcharge, the police must track them down so offenders are informed of a court hearing to determine if they should go to jail for not paying, all of which costs the system much more money than the surcharge would collect.”

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Canada should rethink tough-on-crime strategy

April 09, 2014

Crime in Canada is at its lowest rate in decades and it is important that it stays that way. But it won’t stay that way if legislators keep up their tough-on-crime approach in the face of all the evidence indicating its ineffectiveness.

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Genocide and Justice: Rwanda 20 years on

April 03, 2014

Thomson Reuters Foundation- To mark the 20th anniversary of the start of the Rwanda genocide, we showcase a selection of first-person accounts, features and factsheets highlighting the challenges of achieving justice and reconciliation in a country still haunted by the killings.

Laws governing Nunavut prisons could contravene Charter: report

Opinion- Restorative Justice is victim-centered.

Call for Presenters- 17 IIRP World Conference- Bethlehem Pennsylvania- Oct. 27-29, 2014- Details

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Crime victims hope Ottawa’s new bill of rights offers louder voice.

April 02, 2014

With National Victims of Crime Awareness Week coming up Apr. 6-12, the Victims Bill of Rights is under fire.

When Justice Minister Peter MacKay introduces a Victims Bill of Rights he says it will put victims “at the heart” of the justice system. It will ensure them a more effective voice at every step, he said, including plea bargains. Other’s believe the Harper government’s ill-considered obsession with the rights of victims of crime is once again serving as a paving stone on the road to judicial hell.

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Opinions Differ but RJ is in the News

April 01, 2014

UK 30,000 teenagers avoid prison just by saying sorry…..

US- Restorative Justice Effort Gains Ground in Santa Ana….

Opinion- Falmouth should reconsider ‘restorative justice’

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National Justice Network Update

March 31, 2014

Conservatives to roll out a Victims Bill of Rights– According to the government “Victims of crime deserve to be treated with courtesy, compassion, inclusion and respect. It is important their rights be considered throughout the criminal justice system.” The response from the John Howard Society described the notion as a return to “medieval” justice and a distraction from the real problems facing the system. Catherine Latimer, writing in The Toronto Star, said the real crisis lies in clogged and delayed courts, as well as overcrowding in prisons and remand centres.

Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime– March 2014 Newsletter

Ottawa to cut program for for residential school victims: Justice Murray Sinclair– The man heading the commission into the trauma caused by Indian residential schools says Ottawa plans to cut a program that helps survivors of the system to heal.

‘Pay for success’  initiative charts new course for crime prevention’– ‘ The evidence shows that prison is a miserable failure’

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New Survey Reveals Canadians Concerned About Youth Crime and Justice

March 28, 2014

New Survey Reveals Canadians Concerned About Youth Crime and Justice– A variety of revealing statistics….

Cheryl Suzack on reparatory justice, human rights and Indigenous feminism– The 2014 Eakin Lecture takes place on Mon. Mar. 31, 2014 at McGill.

Residential school survivors event draws thousands in Edmonton. 2,000 children gather for the final national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Final report to follow in 2015.

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Ashley Smith’s death was ruled a homicide. Has the prison system changed?

March 27, 2014

How long will Ottawa ignore our broken prison system? Since the Ashley Smith verdict and recommendations three months ago, the plight of prisoners with mental health conditions continues to be dire. Catherine Latimer Executive Director John Howard Society of Canada.

The Political Rise of Restorative Justice– HuffPost (US)– The tide of justice being called for is one of accountability, data that cannot be denied, and a hope for the future of this country as it steers away from its global reputation as the incarceration nation.

Toronto’s Carding System is Basically a ‘Stop and Frisk’ Program– …visible minority youth do not have a trusting relationship with police….

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Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

March 26, 2014

Reconciliation: A new generation of aboriginal Canadians weighs in. Residential school survivors say the apologies are too little, too late.   The “apology” is central to restorative justice. Has dependence upon apologies to create right relationships rendered them disingenuous and impotent?

Schools and Police are embracing ‘teachable moments’ with restorative justice rather than punitive justice.

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March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014

Addict Housing to Disappear Despite Manitoba Judges’ Support– another necessary support falls by the wayside……”without a home to send addicts to, judges will be forced to send them to jail.”

The rest of the world regards Canada critically as the Canadian government displays a pattern of behaviour detrimental to the very foundation of Canadian democracy. From gerrymandering to election fraud to unconstitutional changes to parole eligibility and more, when will Canadians wake up and reject this chilling undermining of democracy.

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March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

Restoring What? The need to restore trust is at the core of restorative justice…..

Supreme Court rules that law cutting access to early day parole is unconstitutional. “The unanimous ruling is the latest sign that the largely conservative court hand picked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is willing to draw a line in the sand against certain aspects of the government’s tough-on-crime laws.”

Mean girls, meaner boys– young people’s online behaviour…..

Airdrie antibullying campaign partners with international foundation-

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March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014

Republicans suddenly get smart on crime. Harperites have yet to clue in.

Teachers are low on the list of people students turn to when cyberbullied. Is the zero tolerance policy hurting educator’s ability to respond?

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March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014

Aboriginal youth are already over represented within the criminal justice system. Does this mean more could fall through the cracks?

Restorative Circles are a much better way of empowering students to change behaviour. Read about the impact it is having on this school.

The First Perspective– Gladue Reports now available…….

Why do children join gangs? “It turns out that, like violence, gang membership is as much a public health problem as it is a criminal justice problem…..”

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March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014

The irrationality, ineffectiveness and costs of the Harper crime agenda,”prison is an expensive way to make bad people worse…..” but what does the public think. The Harper government may be making public opinion the cornerstone of justice policy, however, general public opinion indicates Canadians believe sentences are too lenient and the corrections system is not rehabilitating offenders. The best way to counter these perceptions is through education. But don’t look for any quick fixes. Changing deeply rooted cultural values takes generations.

Calling for justice by walking with art… Art exhibit responds to unsolved cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

The EU justice scoreboard: Towards more effective justice systems in the EU. A wealth of interesting information.

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March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

First Nations in NB– Federal government plans to improve services and programs for First Nations…..

RJ program launches new look– Sunshine Coast, BC……

Prison Restorative Justice Programme Wins Prestigious Award- Isle of Man- The prison’s RJ programme has been officially recognized for for its outstanding work with offenders over the past two years…..

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Can Mandela’s model for Restorative Justice work in healthcare?

March 10, 2014

Feb. 25, 2014  An interesting application for Restorative Practice.

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Restorative Justice, not death penalty urged for accused bomber.

March 10, 2014

Feb. 21, 2014  National Catholic Reporter

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CoSA Loses Federal Funding

March 04, 2014

Feb. 27, 2014- At the end of March funding ends for one of the most widely respected and effective programs for working with sex offenders, Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA). Read more… 

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Restorative Justice Lessons from Libya

March 03, 2014

Feb. 2014, Special Report- Shooting breaks out in a reconciliation meeting in Libya

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Job Postings

February 09, 2014

Volunteers- Caledon OPP looking for RJ program volunteers.

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America’s Cautionary Tale of Mandatory Minimums

February 05, 2014

Feb. 5, 2014  US conservatives and progressives alike have seen the destructive consequences of mandatory minimum sentences. But will Canada take notice with the Conservative government’s tough on crime policies.


Feb.5, 2014- RJ evaluation tool developed in the UK– The Restorative Justice Council has introduced the Restorative Services Quality Mark to help those involved in the delivery of restorative interventions to measure whether they are meeting the best needs of victims, offenders and communities.

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Nova Scotia’s Cyberbullying Law

February 05, 2014

Feb. 3, 2014– A unique law will be tested in a Nova Scotia courtroom…….

Feb. 3, 2014- Federal Review of the Impact of the Restorative Opportunities Program

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Irish Cabinet to Discuss Direct Reparations

February 04, 2014

Feb. 4, 2014  Returning to the roots of justice.

Plans would give victims of crime right to accept reparation payments from offenders.

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Efforts to Reduce Expulsions Controversial

February 03, 2014

Feb. 1, 2014  Recent scandal has shone a light on restorative justice..………

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Restorative Justice Practices

February 01, 2014

Jan. 31, 2014 Zero tolerance policies are pushing children through the school-to-prison pipeline. But, there is another way……

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RJ- Sri Lanka

January 17, 2014

Dec. 15, 2013   Restorative Justice Requires Mutual Commitment

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Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator 2012-2013

December 09, 2013

Nov. 25, 2013  Federal prisons more crowded, violent under Tories, Ombudsman says. Read Howard Sapers full report.

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15th Annual Presentation of the Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award

November 20, 2013

Nov. 19,2013  Last night at a ceremony in Toronto, Ontario, Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) Assistant Commissioner of Correctional Operations and Programs, Fraser Macaulay, presented the 15th annual Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award to Ms. Gillian Lindquist, as part of the 2013 National Restorative Justice Symposium.

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RJ Africa

November 13, 2013

1. Nov. 23, 2013 A story of RJ in South Africa

2. Oct. 13, 2013 The Attack on Westgate Mall and Kenya’s Opposition to the ICC

Is Western culture imposing it’s worldview on justice through the ICC? Many African nations hold a different worldview in which restorative justice plays a greater role. Whose perspective should prevail? This article provides interesting insight.

The ICC and Stability in Kenya

A panel of Kenyan political analysts and former legislators recently described two kinds of justice at work. Speaking for the panel, Peter Kagwanja, CEO of the Africa Policy Institute argued that “The kind of hang ‘em high justice you see at the ICC has absolutely nothing to do with the victims.” Meanwhile, the men, women and children who were displaced by violence in 2007, and who continue to languish in ill-equipped Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps need a kind of “restorative justice” that the ICC has not addressed. Restorative justice would focus on providing the victims with humanitarian aide and development to facilitate substantive improvements to their quality of life.

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Feb. 14, 2014- Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program – not-for-profit agencies connected with at risk communities of hate crime. Oct. 21, 2013 Ongoing The Department of Justice Canada is accepting new project proposals under the Youth Justice Fund, Guns, Gangs and Drugs. Please visit the website.

October 28, 2013

Feb. 14, 2014- Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program – not-for-profit agencies connected with at risk communities of hate crime.

Oct. 21, 2013 Ongoing  The Department of Justice Canada is accepting new project proposals under the Youth Justice Fund, Guns, Gangs and Drugs. Please visit the website.

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Restorative Justice Expands Its Goal

October 27, 2013

People- CircleOct. 16, 2013   From Across Canada- North Shore News We see restorative justice as an important lens through which to view issues in our schools…

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National Aboriginal Initiative

October 01, 2013

imagesThe Canadian Human Rights Commission has developed materials for First Nations communities as a result of the change in legislation last year.  These include  Your Guide to Understanding the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Human Right Handbook for First Nations and a Toolkit for Developing Community-based Dispute Resolution Processes in First Nations Communities.  All of these documents are available on their website   

The Toolkit on Dispute Resolution Processes is an interesting and engaging document.


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