Mission, Vision, and Values of the CRJ

The Centre for Restorative Justice, in partnership with individuals, the community, justice agencies and the University, exists to support and promote the principles and practices of restorative justice. Restorative justice is a philosophy that views harm and crime as violations of people and relationships. It is a holistic process that addresses the repercussions and obligations created by harm, with a view to putting things as right as possible. Restorative justice is best practiced when guided by restorative values and principles and when those most affected are both the focus and the directors. 

When compared with our current models of punishment, whether it is in the justice system or discipline in schools, restorative justice requires a paradigm shift in thinking about reactions to harm. This becomes most apparent when we compare the values and principles of restorative justice to those of the current justice system, which emphasizes punishment and retribution. As Susan Sharpe states:

“Restorative justice is fundamentally different from retributive justice. It is justice that puts energy into the future, not into what is past. It focuses on what needs to be healed, what needs to be repaid, what needs to be learned in the wake of crime. It looks at what needs to be strengthened if such things are not to happen again.” 

- Susan Sharpe, Restorative Justice: A Vision for Healing and Change, 1998

In line with these principles, the Centre provides education, innovative program models, training, evaluation and research through a resource centre and meeting place that facilitates outreach, promotion, dialogue and advocacy.