Any agreement reached between the victim and the offender must be entered into voluntarily by both parties. The agreement will contain clear terms, meet the needs of the parties, and be reasonable and realistic. The agreement will be monitored by the service provider until complete.
If an offender is on release conditions pending the outcome of the restorative justice process, those conditions will remain in effect. If the process results in a probation order, those terms remain in effect throughout any terms of the agreement. Any breach of terms or conditions may result in further criminal proceedings.
The service provider will provide a written update to counsel that can be shared with the sentencing judge and, if appropriate, may make submissions in court. The judge retains the discretion to determine the ultimate sentence and is not required to incorporate any of the suggestions made into the final sentencing decision.
If an agreement is not reached, then the matter goes back to court. In this case, nothing that was said or done in the restorative justice process can be used in court.
Where and when
Referrals to restorative justice will be made to one of the agencies identified on the roster.
There is no expectation that service providers take on any referral. They will be at liberty to determine if a case is appropriate for their community or agency. Agencies may determine after interviewing the victim and offender that the matter is not suitable for an RJ process.
In cases where referrals are made for more serious criminal matters, these may have to be referred to specific programs or service providers who are trained to adjudicate such matters. Referrals will be limited to communities with existing programs.
An evaluation of the referrals to restorative justice and the outcomes will be conducted so as to determine whether to expand the program in the future and how to improve it.