The province of Manitoba has launched its Restorative Justice Act, which the province calls a Canadian first, to rehabilitate offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.
“Restorative justice can provide a more appropriate resolution in many situations,” Attorney General Gord Mackintosh said in proclaiming the new legislation. “Through a strong restorative justice system, we can help reduce future crimes, provide closure to victims and reduce some of the pressure on the traditional court system.”
Under restorative justice, cases are handled in the community, outside of the traditional court process, with a focus on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, rather than on punishing the offender.
Victims, if they choose to participate, can take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions.
In the end, restorative justice promotes public safety by providing healing, reparation and re-integration into the community, stated a news release issued by the province when the legislation was first proposed last year.