Myth: The John Howard Society is preoccupied with offenders and offers very little to victims.
Fact: The John Howard Society is a strong advocate of Restorative Justice. Restorative justice is an approach to justice that personalizes the crime by having the victims and the offenders mediate a restitution agreement to the satisfaction of each, as well as involving the community. This contrasts to more punitive approaches where the main aim is retributive justice or to satisfy abstract legal principles.
Victims take an active role in the process. Meanwhile, offenders take meaningful responsibility for their actions, taking the opportunity to right their wrongs and redeem themselves, in their own eyes and in the eyes of the community. In addition, the restorative justice approach aims to help the offender to avoid future offenses.
Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender has shown the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability.
(Source – Wikipedia)
Our Moose Jaw branch recently completed a Victim / Offender Mediation, through the Alternative Measures Program, relating to a theft under $5000.00 charge. The mediation was most successful with both parties being able to address concerns with the victim receiving restitution for the stolen item. The accused was very happy to be able to apologize in person, as these events were out of character for him. The offender was using heavily, when the offence occurred, and the victim was able to see that the theft wasn’t personal. During our follow-up with the offender we were told that the two of them are now friends on Facebook, having continued positive contact with each other. The victim was the one that reached out to the offender and added him as a ‘friend’. Our client stated, ‘Isn’t that crazy, we are now friends’.
For more information on Restorative Justice please click on the below link.
Chief Executive Officer
John Howard Society of Saskatchewan