Creating space for transformative conversations
Dialogue Contributes to BC Justice Reform
New recommendations to expand BC's use of restorative justice are informed in part by a recent Centre for Dialogue program. British Columbia’s Justice Reform Initiative has issued a report calling for increased use, measurement, and funding of restorative justice throughout the BC justice system. These recommendations follow our spring 2012 “Riots and Restorative Justice” Welch Community Dialogue, featuring Theo Gavrielides.
Held in partnership with the SFU Centre for Restorative Justice, the program succeeded in raising the profile of restorative justice through significant media coverage and meetings with key policy makers. This includes a meeting with Geoff Cowper, QC, who led the Justice Reform Initiative and submitted his final report to the BC Minister of Justice and Attorney General in August. Mr. Cowper's recommendations include:
- A province-wide plan for diversion, including restorative justice, should be developed to include education, quality assurance and control, performance measures, reporting and evaluation.
- The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Plan for the Province should include a performance goal for increased use of restorative justice programs.
- Expanded funding for restorative justice programs should be made available and innovative methods of funding, should be assessed, such as funding referrals, in cases where the offender would otherwise be subject to a significant criminal penalty.