Diverse needs, unique responses

Last week was Restorative Justice Week in B.C., which celebrates the important work being done by groups dedicated to restorative justice.

Last week was Restorative Justice Week in B.C., which celebrates the important work being done by groups dedicated to restorative justice.

I would like to take a moment to talk about this important issue and thank the community volunteers who make these programs so successful, helping so many in our communities.The idea behind restorative justice is to repair the harm that has been done to those who have been victims of crime and violence. It holds those who have perpetrated these crimes accountable and is based on a process that takes into consideration the individual needs of victims.

The theme of this year’s Restorative Justice Week was “Diverse Needs; Unique Responses,” and I think this really goes straight to the heart of what restorative justice is all about. Every crime is different and impacts different people in different ways; by looking at the specific circumstances of individual cases and the impacts that they have had on the victims, restorative justice tries to achieve fair outcomes which leave both victims and offenders better off than they would be under a traditional approach to justice.

Offenders who participate in a restorative justice process have much better outcomes than those who do not. Having participated in a process that allows them to realize the consequences of their actions, and to help repair the harm they have caused, they begin to take responsibility for their own decisions and so are less likely to fall back into crime.

Here in B.C., we are fortunate to have volunteers who make these programs possible, such as the Williams Lake Community Council for Restorative Justice. Across the province, in communities both large and small, they take on about 1,400 cases and spend more than 90,000 hours a year helping both victims and offenders reach better outcomes.

To those of you working or volunteering to make restorative justice programs so successful, I would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication; you are truly making a difference in peoples’ lives.


Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.



Just Posted

Fire claims two historic buildings in downtown Williams Lake

Several other businesses damaged by water used to fight the blaze

TRU hosts second round of public consultations

A dozen concerned lakecity locals came out to the Pioneer Complex to provide their feedback

Global Climate Strike and March a well-attended call to action

Generations of concerned citizens marched on city hall led by the youth of today

Update: Firefighters battle blaze in downtown Williams Lake

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Air quality back to low risk in Williams Lake after firefighters extinguish downtown building fires

Crews continue to clean up after fire destroyed two downtown businesses

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read