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North America and the Caribbean

Restorative justice in North America has arisen out of various sources such as indigenous practices of First Nations people, a discontent with the justice system, and a need to meet the needs of victims. It is currently being applied in various areas from prison to schools to child welfare issues.


Indigenous practices focused on repairing harm and rebuilding peace in communities have been revived by some indigenous communities and adapted for use in the court systems.


Community based organizations have played an important role in the development of restorative justice practice in many areas.


Restorative programmes in the prison setting are being used to help inmates understand the impact of crime on victims and the community and  provide victims an opportunity to ask questions of their offenders and find their own path toward healing.

Re-entry initiatives

Offenders returning to the community after a prison term face many challenges to successful reintegration including the issues that first sent them to prison. Restorative practices are increasingly being used to help inmates make this transition back to their families and communities.

Child Welfare 

With a focus on strengthening families, restorative practices in child welfare cases are seen as a mechanism for helping families build on the strengths they do have and connect to a larger support network to ensure the safety and care of children.

Juvenile Justice 

Restorative justice has been seen as a way of  diverting young offenders away from formal justice processes that are stigmatising.


Several government entities have developed legislation to address different implementations of restorative practices.

Court Cases

With the growing use of restorative justice, the number of court cases addressing restorative practices is growing.


Evaluations looking at the effectiveness of restorative justice programmes show an increase in satisfaction for both victim and offender.

Articles from RJ Online

These short articles featuring developments within North America first appeared in the monthly edition of Restorative Justice Online.

All documents 

These documents discuss restorative justice in North America and the Caribbean. They appear in the order in which they were added to the site with the most recent appearing first.


Documents by country

These documents discuss restorative justice developments in these countries of North America and the Caribbean: Canada | Jamaica | United States

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