Vancouver Island Region
Restorative Justice Association
Welcome to VIRRJA!
VIRRJA is an association of restorative justice programs on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and all the Gulf Islands.
We work together to promote, support and improve restorative justice programs, and strengthen this vital part of the justice system.
Questions we ask.....
Restorative justice is a way of thinking
about harm and healing
All of us cause harm and we all experience harm at some point in our lives. In our punitive culture, the solutions offered often rely on the criminal legal system to evaluate and adjudicate harms. Yet many harms are not crimes and many crimes are not necessarily harmful. But we know that harm demands a response.
How might we more readily account for and respond to harms in our communities? Perhaps we can begin by using restorative approaches.
As Howard Zehr has written: “Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.”