Dalhousie Law Journal


Nova Scotia, restorative justice, police, referrals, violent, non-violent, offences


The Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program relies heavily on referrals from police who are authorized to refer a range of property and both violent and non-violent offences. Federal legislation and provincialprotocols guide referral decisions. Both are designed to ensure that police consider extra-judicial measures, including restorative justice. This article reports the findings ofa surveyof police officers on their views of restorative justice and the types of cases they consider appropriate for a referral. The findings confirm what other researchers have found about the types of cases police officers prefer to divert from mainstream criminal justice responses. Placed in the context of the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program, the current survey findings shed light on how efforts to structure discretion and decision-making will have limited effect.

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