Restorative justice innovations in Canada
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As many jurisdictions move towards more retributive measures as a means to address public discontent with crime, a parallel movement has developed in regard to restorative justice. This article presents three restorative initiatives currently in use in Canada. Each initiative addresses offender behavior and community engagement at a different point in the justice continuum. The use of Sentencing Circles is an example of how restorative justice principles can be instituted at the front end, prior to an offender becoming lodged in the system. The Restorative Justice Options to Parole Suspension project demonstrates how community engagement can assist in preventing offenders from being returned to the system once they have achieved conditional release. The Circles of Support and Accountability project has enlisted the support of professionally supported volunteers in the community reintegration of high-risk sexual offenders. These initiatives are presented within a framework of effective correctional interventions and increased empowerment for a variety of stakeholders.
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