Restorative justice: a means to reduce imprisonment, instigate and implement rehabilitation and reintegration.(a comparative study of canadian and nigerian criminal justice system)
Some legal practitioners may disagree with the idea of a restorative criminal justice system as a better solution than retributive one. Can a criminal justice system provide justice for all while concurrently reducing the use of imprisonment? Is it possible to keep the community safe, punish and correct offenders, and reduce crime rate while reducing the use of imprisonment as deterrence? The criminal justice system is in place to do justice to victims, the state and the offender. Justice is not just for the state and the victim with exclusion of the offender. If it were so there would be no need for re-integration. Canada has a growing restorative justice system; this system brings to light the possibility of implementation of restorative element in an existing retributive system to produce a workable hybrid. This thesis seeks to explore these possibilities. Although this does not imply that the Canadian criminal justice system is perfect, quite the contrary it is a work in progress. However, this is an attribute that Nigeria and many other common law countries can learn from and emulate. This paper explains how.