Restorative Justice Week in Canada begins on Sunday. Nov. 20, and Penticton RCMP plan on using the platform to inform the public about the program’s benefits.
Through the Restorative Justice (RJ) process, offenders, victims and others affected by the offence committed are invited to discuss the offence and come agreeable terms for resolution and to repair the harm caused to the victim and community.
In the South Okanagan, RCMP say the RJ program is expanding its reach within the school system as a tool to reduce harm and help repair broken relationships.
“Results have indicated that offenders participating in the RJ process are less likely to re-offend or stop offending all together,” a press release from Penticton RCMP reads.
The RJ process requires wrongdoers to recognize the impact they have caused and to accept responsibility for their actions.
Locally, the program consists of 21 volunteers.
Police hoping to inform the public on some of the program’s successes during Restorative Justice Week from Nov. 20 to 26, such as the increased satisfaction for both victims and offenders than the traditional criminal justice system approach.
Businesses in the South Okanagan interested in speaking with somebody about the ongoing issues of mischief, thefts, fraud and other concerns, are asked to contact Jo Anne Ruppenthal at 250-770-5688.
Referrals can also be made through the local RCMP, schools, businesses, probation and the BC Prosecution Service.
As of today, RCMP say there are 13 referrals in the South Okanagan and Similkameen.
More information about the RJ process can be found here.