July 18, 2008

Canada: Restorative justice touted for hate crimes

Citizens of peaceful and tolerant New Brunswick, Canada, have been shocked by a recent outbreak of racist and anti-Semitic vandalism of churches and synagogues.

The answer?

Restorative justice, says criminology professor Elizabeth Elliott of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Elliottt is a leading Canadian expert on restorative justice and author of the book, New Directions In Restorative Justice: Issues, Practice, Evaluation.

If religious leaders and other victims are willing to meet with the offenders and if the offenders agree to participate, "there is an excellent learning opportunity here," said Elliott.

New Brunswick already has restorative justice programs in place both for juvenile and adult offenders, as do other Canadian metropolises such as Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

Of course, the offenders have to get caught first, no small problem in a vandalism case.

New Brunswick's Telegraph Journal has the story.

Hat tip: Understanding Crime

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