EDITORIAL: Could riot justice be restorative?
Hoodlums involved in the Stanley Cup riot are about to see some justice with 114 accused rioters receiving charges and at least one sentencing. It’s unfortunate that Tri-Cities youth were caught up in the chaos but they will have to take responsibility for their actions and maybe they will learn from them.
Jail sentences are entirely appropriate for individuals with records and those with histories of violence or police run-ins. But restorative justice, employed by groups like CERA (Communities Embracing Restorative Action) in Coquitlam, have the skills to bring victims and perpetrators together for reconciliation.
If asked, CERA could host meetings where accused individuals meet with the people they hurt and come up with a remedy, which could be financial, community service or other action. Some of these youth could explain their actions in public and local students could benefit.
Restorative justice can make the victim feel better and safer while restoring the harm done. And while it only works in some cases, mostly involving young offenders, it’s worth a try.
Do you think restorative justice should be used to resolve some Stanley Cup riot cases? Vote in our online poll.