Restorative justice programs in Ontario: views of offenders
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Restorative justice has grown within the criminal justice system over the last 30 years. The current academic literature suggests that restorative justice programs provide many positive benefits for the offenders who participate in them; however, there is a lack of research to account for the subjective experiences of program participants. Using qualitative inquiry, the current thesis sought to understand better the meaning, purpose, and impact of restorative justice programs from ten adult offenders participating in one of two restorative justice programs in Southern Ontario: restorative conferencing and victim-offender mediation. Results highlight how offenders report gaining access to the programs, how they describe the programs, significant features of the programs, and long-term impacts of the programs. Recommendations to enhance the meaningfulness for the offenders as well as policy recommendations and areas for future research are discussed.