We are celebrating 25 years at the North Shore Restorative Justice Society!
The NSRJS has worked for 25 years to create a safer and more unified North Shore community. Throughout these 25 years, we have provided the North Shore community with court diversion work and educational support. As a result, the needs of victims have been put in the forefront and offenders have been given an opportunity for restoration.
I am proud to have served as the Executive Director of the NSRJS for seven years. At the NSRJS we have a team of facilitators, educators, and volunteers who work day and night to ensure a safer and more unified North Shore community by changing the way we understand and facilitate justice.
The idea that when someone causes harm, and is punished for it, equals justice served isn’t reflected in real-world situations.
Research tells us that punishing someone through jail time or other sanctions doesn’t yield the outcome that we think, the offender is rarely encouraged to become a better person. In fact, often it’s the opposite, especially if they serve time and they have a criminal record.
So, instead the restorative justice approach gives a central focus to victims, while getting accountability from the person who caused harm. Through a process that encourages dialogue between parties (either through a facilitator or face to face), the NSRJS can facilitate the same kind of legal restitution that is visible in our provincial courts.
At the NSRJS, we serve approximately 337 victims and offenders and facilitate over $30,000 worth of financial restitution annually from offenders to victims, letters of apology, and community service. This work is facilitated on a much shorter timeline than the court, and at a much-reduced cost to the taxpayer. If the offender successfully completes the process, they do not obtain a criminal record.
Through this work, we have created healing for victims, an opportunity for restoration for the offender, and a more safe, unified North Shore.
If you would like to support our efforts, please consider making a donation today at www.nsrj.ca.
Sioned Dyer is the executive director of the North Shore Restorative Justice Society