Increase use of restorative justice

The RCMP is working to increase referrals to restorative justice programs across the country. This work is undertaken through consultation and collaboration to meet local community needs. The goal is to better utilize alternatives to the criminal justice system.

Why it matters

Restorative justice brings the community and the police closer together and works toward increasing and improving community and police relations. Restorative justice provides an opportunity for victims and offenders to actively participate in the justice process in meaningful and purposeful ways. It allows for communities to come together to heal and move forward after a crime takes place.

Restorative justice also diverts individuals from the criminal justice system and, specifically, the court and prison systems along with rehabilitating offenders. Those who participate in restorative justice show lower levels of recidivism, and victims report higher levels of satisfaction with the process.

RCMP referrals to restorative justice programs align with the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.


Aug 2023

Update

A revised Restorative Justice Policy has been through all levels of review and consultation. Translation and final approval has commenced for formal publication.

The goal of the policy is to increase employee awareness, education, and engagement on restorative justice, as well as to increase the frequency of restorative justice referrals in RCMP jurisdictions.

In June 2023, a Restorative Mindset training course was introduced for RCMP employees. It will be made available on the Canadian Police Knowledge Network, allowing Government of Canada and Canadian law enforcement employees access to the course in the near future.

The pilot project between the RCMP and the Department of Justice began in spring 2022 with a goal of bringing together local RCMP detachments and Indigenous justice programs to increase restorative justice referrals and strengthen their working relationships. Thus far, there are nine pilot sites in six different provinces and territories. An additional four sites and two provinces/territories are scheduled to join the pilot in 2023-24.

May 2022

Update

Increased employee awareness and engagement on restorative justice is being used as a key performance indicator alongside the frequency of restorative justice referrals in RCMP jurisdictions. The RCMP is updating policy and training for the use of restorative justice. Both these resources are expected to be completed in winter 2023. Reports on restorative justice referrals are prepared for Commanding Officers on a regular basis.

A pilot project between the RCMP and the Department of Justice is underway to bring together local RCMP detachments and Indigenous justice programs to increase restorative justice referrals and strengthen their working relationships.

Jan 2022

Update

The RCMP's National Crime Prevention and Indigenous Policing Services (NCPIPS) directorate tracks progress on the use of restorative justice within the RCMP, while liaising closely with internal and external partners. Continued collaboration with our partners strengthens restorative justice networks and processes for day-to-day restorative justice work.

NCPIPS is also developing and implementing tools to support the use of restorative justice. In order to increase the use of restorative justice, the team has developed an restorative justice referral form to ensure consistency in the referral process. They have also collaborated with Natural Resources Canada and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to create a map, available to RCMP employees, showing the location of restorative justice resources. More support tools are being developed and finalized and will be available soon.

A revised restorative justice policy and training course (both scheduled to be rolled out in 2022) are going through the approval process. NCPIPS is also developing a reference tool to assist members with the restorative justice referral process and it will be distributed with the launch of the national training course.

A pilot program, which is set to begin in 2022 and continue for a period of 12 to 24 months will focus on pairing RCMP detachments and local Indigenous Justice Program funded by DOJ so they can work together in increasing referrals and creating strong community-based working partnerships.

NCPIPS has completed a report on pre-charge restorative justice referrals in all RCMP jurisdictions for 2020 to provide a baseline for measuring progress. The report is updated twice a year, allowing for ongoing monitoring.


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