What is Restorative Justice?

It is a response to crime that focuses on restoring the losses suffered by victims and communities. It holds offenders accountable for the harm they have caused. Restorative justice is a different way of thinking about crime and society's response to crime. It comes in many different forms depending on the traditions and preferences of the communities that adopt restorative alternatives.

Restorative justice is about accountability, reconciliation, restoration, healing, and rehabilitation.

All restorative models provide an opportunity to:
~ hold offenders accountable in a more meaningful way
~ repair the harm caused by the offence
~ reintegrate the offender
~ achieve a sense of healing for the victim and community
The real essence of restorative justice is a face-to-face meeting between the victim, the offender, and the community members. During this meeting:
~ all participants are given an opportunity to talk about their concerns and to talk about the offence from their own perspective
~ the parties develop an understanding of the impact of the offence and the steps needed to make amends
~ an agreement is reached, outlining what the offender can do to make amends, such as restitution, personal service to the victim, community service, etc.
The process used for restorative justice will depend on:
~ the circumstances of a case
~ when the case is referred to restorative justice
~ any traditions or preferences of the participants
The Restorative Justice Program is currently available for youth aged 12-17 inclusive


Nova Scotia's Restorative Justice Program is administerd by
the Correctional Services Division of the Department of Justice

More information about the program and related services
is available, in English and French, on the Nova Scotia