Disadvantaged Populations Essay

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Impact of Restorative Justice on Disadvantaged Populations

In the Canadian criminal justice system, justice is equated with fair and deserving punishment for deviant individuals (Griffiths, 2011). However, this does not necessarily happen to be the case for Aboriginal people who are drastically over-represented in all aspects of the system. In fact, the Supreme Court of Canada called the over-representation of Aboriginal people as a “crisis in the Canadian criminal justice system” (Rudin & Ipperwash, 2005, p.2). Research indicates that Aboriginal people constitute approximately 3 per cent of the Canadian adult population, but account for 18.5 per cent of the federally incarcerated population (Bennet, 2012). A 2012 report by Canada’s Office
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Restorative justice is different from traditional criminal justice in several ways. First, it views crime on a larger scale, rather than defining crime as simply law breaking, it recognizes that many people are harmed in the process. In addition, it involves more parties; rather than the government making the decision alone, victim and community opinions are considered as well. (Dzur & Olsen, 2004). Clearly, the current approach to dealing with certain offenders is not addressing their unique needs and is instead resulting in an unbalanced scale of justice. As such, there needs to be a justice system that is capable of bridging cultural values into modern ideas about justice and its delivery (Wojikowska, 2006). Although retributive justice may have worked in the past, crimes are always evolving alongside society and people have to adapt previous practices to accommodate for changes. Restorative justice provides an innovative, yet unique perspective in addressing these modern threats in

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