July 16, 2019 1:25 pm
Updated: July 16, 2019 5:18 pm

Nova Scotia to divert more criminal cases to restorative justice system

WATCH: The expansion to Nova Scotia’s restorative justice program would allow more people to access restorative justice and to reduce the number of cases going to court. Alicia Draus reports.

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Nova Scotia is taking steps to divert more cases from traditional courtrooms and into its ground-breaking restorative justice system.

Justice Minister Mark Furey has announced changes that will allow cases to be referred to restorative justice earlier.

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Previously, a case could only be referred after a charge had been laid or after a conviction.

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A new five-year memorandum of understanding commits police, prosecutors, victim services and the province’s eight community justice agencies to ensure referrals to restorative justice are consistently considered and made more frequently.

However, a moratorium will remain in place for offences involving domestic or sexual violence.

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The changes will also see the establishment of regional teams that will include senior probation officers to assess all adult referrals and a management committee to provide oversight and ensure restorative remedies are being used in all appropriate cases.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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