Correctional Service of Canada

Correctional Service of Canada

November 10, 2005 17:30 ET

CSC/Restorative Justice Week - 'Wisdom Gained through Experience'

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) - Community groups across the country will be holding events to encourage people to learn about restorative justice, as part of Restorative Justice Week, November 13-20, 2005.

Subjects such as, the human element of crime, the impact on people, their communities and their relationships will be highlighted throughout the week. Communities in all regions will be holding forums, making presentations and encouraging discussions about restorative justice. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is marking the week with events in institutions and in the community.

Restorative justice is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, meaningful accountability of offenders, and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities. It has been growing as a part of our social and criminal justice systems over the last 20 years.

This year's theme is "Wisdom Gained through Experience." The focus of this year's theme is to promote a sharing of the results of those efforts and to set targets for the future direction of Restorative Justice.

"Restorative Justice Week is an opportunity for Canadians to further engage in the correctional process," says the Honourable Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. "This initiative enhances public safety by engaging the community in contributing to healing the harm caused by crime."

"For the Correctional Service of Canada, restorative justice techniques provide additional tools for helping offenders accept responsibility for the harm they have done," affirms CSC's Commissioner Keith Coulter. "These tools also contribute to safer environments within prisons and the community."

On November 19th, the Ottawa Restorative Justice Week Planning Committee, with the assistance of the CSC, will be offering a one-day symposium to stimulate a discussion about the potential need for and development of a National Association for Restorative Justice. The symposium will be followed by an evening ceremony recognizing this year's Ron Wiebe Award recipient.

This is the 7th Annual Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award presentation. This award is presented to Canadians who have demonstrated, through their work or lifestyle, ways of transforming human relationships by enabling and promoting communication and healing between people in conflict, including victims, offenders, colleagues, families, or neighbours.

For information on Restorative Justice Week and events, please visit www.csc-scc.gc.ca or call:



RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

BACKGROUNDER


- Restorative Justice is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach
to justice that emphasizes healing for victims, meaningful
accountability of offenders, and the active involvement of citizens
in creating healthier, safer communities.

- As much as possible, restorative justice involves the victim, the
offender and the community in a process which attempts to heal the
harm caused by crime, and to pave the way for more peaceful and
collaborative ways of resolving conflicts in our workplace as well
as in the broader society.

- Crime is a violation of people and relationships. Restorative
justice works to repair this damage and promote healing and growth.

- The concept of restorative justice has early roots at the
Correctional Service Canada (CSC) in its Aboriginal and Chaplaincy
divisions. In 1996, CSC established a separate, dedicated unit to
explore emerging trends and initiatives in the fields of
restorative justice and dispute resolution. The first 'Restorative
Justice Week' was also celebrated that year, having evolved through
the years as Prisoners' Sunday and Prisoners' Week.

- Restorative Justice Week is celebrated in the community and at
institutions all across Canada, including CSC National
Headquarters. This year's Restorative Justice Week will take place
from November 13-20, 2005. The theme is: 'Wisdom gained from
experience,' emphasizing the knowledge that has been gained through
the collective efforts and experiences of practitioners, victims,
offenders and community members.

- In 1999, CSC established an award to honour the late Ron Wiebe who
was the Warden of Ferndale and Elbow Lake minimum-security
institution, until his death in 1999. Mr. Wiebe was a pioneer in
the field of restorative justice. This award is presented every
year during Restorative Justice Week in recognition of Canadians
who have demonstrated, through their work and lifestyle, ways of
transforming human relationships by enabling and promoting
restorative justice and dispute resolution practices.

- The principles of restorative justice can be found in several of
CSC's core values, which emphasize individual dignity, respect and
potential, as well as those that recognize the importance of
community connections and partnerships. The dedicated activities
of CSC's Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution Branch and the
related work of other branches, sectors and regions, has
established CSC as a prominent player in the restorative justice
and dispute resolution movement. Combined with the efforts of the
RCMP, the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness,
the National Parole Board and the Department of Justice, CSC's
efforts contribute to a tangible federal government leadership in
this area.


This new release is available on the Internet at www.csc-scc.gc.ca and is automatically delivered to CSC list-serv subscribers.

Contact Information

  • Correctional Service of Canada
    Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution Branch
    Terry Richardson
    (613) 996-0373
    or
    Correctional Service of Canada
    Christa McGregor
    Media Relations
    (613) 371-6207