Bridge to Restorative Justice Conference

Event Start Date:
1st April 2017
Event End Date:
1st April 2017
Event Theme:
Restorative Justice Conference
Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James St N in Hamilton, ON

Every year in the Hamilton-Wentworth and Halton regions, thousands of our neighbours commit offences and are eventually sentenced to jail. Most residents of our region seldom question whether there might be a better way to deal with offences and offenders. This is surprising, given the devastating impact of incarceration on the individuals jailed, and the sheer cost to society: $79,000 to $110,000 or more per inmate per year in direct costs, as well as hefty indirect costs due to the impact of incarceration on families and the erosion of offenders’ ability to obtain gainful employment after their release.

Our community will soon have an opportunity to learn about an alternative approach. On April 1, The Bridge: from Prison to Community is hosting an all-day conference on restorative justice. It will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James Street North. Tickets are available on-line at: . Christ’s Church Cathedral will be the venue for the Bridge to Restorative Justice conference.

The Bridge has invited speakers from diverse walks of life to share their experiences and perspectives:

  • Ex-offenders trying to reintegrate in Hamilton
  • Matthew Torigian, Ontario Deputy Minister for Community Safety and Corrections
  • David Christopherson, currently MP for Hamilton Centre, federal NDP critic for Correctional Services (2015-16) and Ontario Minister for Correctional Services (1992-95)
  • Victims and ex-offenders who have been directly involved in restorative justice processes
  • Louise Leonardi, Executive Director, Canadian Families and Corrections Network (CFCN)
  • Chris Cowie, Executive Director, Waterloo’s Community Justice Initiatives (CJI)—known world-wide for initiating the first modern Restorative Justice program
  • Diane Harrison, MSW, Mediator & Dispute Resolution Expert

The morning will be dedicated to examining the current situation and identifying current barriers to the implementation of restorative justice practices more widely in the Hamilton-Burlington area. The afternoon will focus on the solutions—successful models of restorative justice services, “lessons learned” and identification of steps needed to shift toward a restorative justice approach in Hamilton and Burlington.

If you’re interested in making Hamilton and Burlington more compassionate and safer communities, set April 1 aside for this conference.

More about the conference: