Last fall I travelled with my bestie, Bacon, to Vancouver to attend the TEDxVancouver conference. I was excited and had no idea just how much my mind would be expanded and inspired. One particular talk really struck a chord with me. After going through the parole hearing experience last spring I knew that the justice system was only doing what it knew what to do… and it did nothing for the criminal that so dramatically affected my life. He was now a spoiled grown man that had food, shelter, training, employment and access to education for the past 25 years. However, he was loud, seemed inconsiderate to the parole board and process and he barely realized the affect his actions had on others. He actually said at one point that he didn’t know until just a few months prior to the hearing, when he received copies of the victim impact statements, the effect his actions had on us – the victims. This severely shocked and saddened me.
Just five months later I am sitting in Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre listening to Natalie DeFreitas and her talk titled “Rethinking the Impact of Traditional Justice”. Amazing. The teachers, preachers, school principals, detention centres staff, jail wardens and staff, counsellors, therapists, police officers, lawyers, judges, families and all governement levels associated with ‘dealing’ with criminals should consider changing their approach to bring them to justice.
This is important and affects a lot more people than you may think. I truly believe the world could be a better place if criminals were ‘brought to justice’ in a way that they truly knew the impact they had on their victims and community while getting the assistance, counselling and training that they individually need… and Restorative Justice does just that!