Benefits of Restorative Justice
In a paper prepared by the Chilliwack Restorative Justice Society and based on the example of a adolescent first-time offender and cost-benefit data from 2001:
Financial Estimate of a Formal Court Process: $2649.50/file (2001) This is a first-time offender, Category 3 or 4 offence.
This would represent a cost of $3, 579.01 in 2017 according to the Inflation Index – Bank of Canada
For the 12 month period of 2017, CDRJS successfully completed 46 of the 54 files it received.
Using the 2017 adjusted figure of $3,579.01 for a first-time offender, as reported by Chilliwack Restorative Justice Society, the files for 2017 represent a estimated l savings of $164, 634.46 to the community if those same file had proceeded through a formal court process.
In a restorative justice approach, the victim is involved in the outcome. The victim explains to the offender how the actions of the offender have had an impact on the victim and have that harm addressed. The offender has the opportunity to learn how their actions have had an impact beyond the simple applications of punishment for transgression. They have the opportunity to sit in a circle with those who have been harmed and learn about the human impact of their transgression.
The negative impact that having a criminal offense has on future employment and travel is significant. An offender who accepts responsibility for their transgression and actively pursues reconciliation through a court diversion such as restorative justice, may receive a police record with a determined purge date period. The "Purge Date" is in reference to when a file is formally destroyed.
The exact purge date is determined by the RCMP and may take into consideration additional offenses, but a police file does not have the same negative impact on the future positive aspirations of the offender that would be the case of a criminal record.