“I didn’t give a darn about anything or anyone, but now I’m more responsible. Through the process, I realized I needed to change.” (17-year old teen charged with burglary and assault)
While BCRJP offers several different programs to help youth offenders resolve their crimes, they are all based on this common principle:
WITHOUT GOOD LEARNING…
…YOU DON’T GET GOOD RESPONSIBILITY
There are different ways for a justice process to involve learning. Traditional punishment may be followed by, “That’ll learn ya!” but what exactly is the message being taught? It’s one thing to not repeat an offense out of not wanting another negative consequence. It is quite another thing to not repeat an offense out of respecting other people.
A restorative process aims to increase this awareness of respecting other people. It provides a chance for a deeper learning about how misconducts, violations and crimes affect other people. This learning, in turn, instills a deeper responsibility for making better choices in the future. In the same way a parent wants their children to grow in character as they correct them along the way, restorative justice invites the same character growth for all youth offenders.