Building on a series of successful pilot programs, Justice Minister Diana Whalen has announced the province-wide expansion of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program to adults. Whalen made the announcement on November 21 at a National Restorative Justice Symposium in Halifax
"Restorative justice has proven to be a good option for communities, victims and offenders," said Whalen. "That's why we're expanding the program and offering it across the province.
"Restorative justice requires offenders to take responsibility for their actions and holds them accountable to the community and their victims. This helps victims and their families get the closure and support they need to heal."
The restorative justice expansion will replace the Adult Diversion Program. Restorative justice takes a more inclusive approach that has shown better outcomes for all involved, with offenders far less likely to come into conflict with the law again.
In pilot programs starting back in 2011 in Cape Breton, East Hands, and Colchester County, restitution rates have been very successful, with strong support from criminal justice partners and a high satisfaction rate among victims. (In case you missed it, Restorative Justice Week in Nova Scotia ran from Nov. 20-27. For more information on the National Restorative Justice symposium, go to: http://novascotia.ca/just/restorative-justice-symposium-2016/