Case Study

Restorative Justice: A Framework for Criminal Justice Transformation in Alberta

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In 2018, the Alberta justice system – along with so many others across Canada – faced compounding crises of court delays, access to justice issues, overrepresentation of marginalized peoples, a lack of public confidence, and victim dissatisfaction. As a part of their response, the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General contracted Just Outcomes, along with restorative justice expert Dr. Jennifer Llewellyn of Dalhousie University, to undertake a review of restorative justice initiatives across the province and recommend steps forward.

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We believe that governments play an important role in the growth of restorative justice. This project was an opportunity to offer our strategy and research expertise in advising government initiatives through a principled lens. We were thrilled to embark on a working relationship with Dr. Llewellyn, whose work we deeply respect and with whom we have continued to collaborate over the years. Within rigorous timeframes, we conducted a detailed review of international literature and research data, and interviewed justice stakeholders from across Alberta. Our research culminated in a 96-page report, including such themes as:

  • Restorative Justice in Canadian Policy and Legislation
  • Restorative Justice internationally
  • The Case for Restorative Justice
  • Restorative Justice in Alberta: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Understandings of Restorative Justice
  • Measuring Success in Restorative Justice
  • Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Access to Justice
  • Program Structure and Governance
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Founded on quality research, our report for the Alberta Government laid out a comprehensive vision for restorative justice in Alberta – not only as a program to augment the existing justice system, but as a principled framework to guide justice reforms in the province. This document remains a guiding reference for strategic thinking on restorative justice in Alberta.

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