Restorative Justice

After a hit-and-run fatality, Douglas Quan penned an article about restorative justice. A Honda that made an illegal turn struck Martha Ralph and her boyfriend. Martha passed away instantly, but her boyfriend passed away in the infirmary. The Honda's driver sped away from the accident. The accused had a past of substance abuse, assault, and weapon offenses, among other things, and the car had been stolen. The defendant made no apologies at any point during the hearing. In search of closure, the victim's sister Coral Forslund contacted a government restorative justice program. She was curious about the offender's level of regret. The program arranged for a victim-offender mediation in a B.C prison. When the two met, the accused broke down and stated that he was sorry for causing the death of her sister who left behind a son (Quan (2015).

The then Victims Bill of Rights required officers from Correctional Service of Canada to inform victims of the existence of restorative justice, including victim-offender dispute resolution. This program gave the family members of the deceased closure after they were convinced that the offender was remorseful. Restorative justice helped the victims to forgive the offender who is now doing well and receiving counseling after serving his time in prison (Quan (2015).

Question two

In my opinion, restorative and retributive justice are both necessary depending on the circumstances of the offense. Restorative justice allows the victim and the offender to meet eye to eye and settle any pending issues and to get closure (Van Ness (2010 pp.21). In some cases, restorative justice ends up in forgiveness from the victims and society. On the other hand, retributive justice leaves both parties with hard feelings towards the other. The victims do not get a chance to confront the offender while the offender feels like the punishment was unfair (Braithwaite. J(2002 pp.249).

In conclusion, restorative justice is a win-win situation while retributive justice is a win-lose situation for the victims and offenders (Cavadino (1997 pp. 39). Offenders who get restorative justice get reformed faster and easier compared to those who receive retributive justice and the latter get accepted by society more easily thus reducing the probability of being repeat offenders.


Braithwaite. J. Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulations 2002, Oxford University Press, at 249

Cavadino, M & Dignan, J. (1997). The Penal System: An Introduction (2nd ed.), p. 39. London:Sage

Douglas Quan ‘How restorative justice changed a grieving family’s opinion of a hit-and-run driver’ review published Feb 8, 2015 last viewed May 17,2017

Martin, Jacqueline (2005). The English Legal System (4th ed.), p. 174. London: Hodder Arnold.

Van Ness, Daniel W., Karen Heetderks Strong. Restoring Justice – An Introduction to Restorative Justice. 4th ed. New Province, N.J.: Matthew Bender & Co., Inc., 2010: 21–22.

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