Restorative Opportunities Program (victim-offender mediation)

Restorative Opportunities is a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) program that offers people that were harmed by crime an opportunity to communicate with the offender who harmed them. It is based on the principles of restorative justice that focus on addressing the harm caused by crime and meeting the needs of those involved.

Watch this short video to learn more about the program:

  • Restorative opportunities - YouTube

The Restorative Opportunities program can take many forms and is guided by

participants' needs. With the help of a professional mediator, participants can:

Mediators work with participants to find ways to identify and address their needs. They are mindful of the participants' physical and emotional well-being throughout the process, and conduct ongoing assessments that consider their safety and privacy. Participation is voluntary at all stages.

There are many reasons why a person may choose to participate in the Restorative Opportunities program.

It allows victims to:

It allows offenders to:

Offender participation is not related to any sentence or parole decisions.

Forgiveness is not a goal or an expected result of the program. It may occur in some cases, but it is not explored unless the participants identify it as one of their needs.

Accessing Services

As per the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, all victims have a right to receive information on services available to them, including restorative justice programs. People harmed by an offender serving a federal sentence can request victim-offender mediation services from the Restorative Opportunities program. This includes victims that are registered or not with CSC or the Parole Board of Canada, and victim representatives acting on behalf of registered victims. Please contact CSC's Restorative Justice Division to learn how to get started:

Victims are also entitled by law to receive information about the offender that harmed them. To receive information or learn more about CSC’s Victim Services, please visit:

To speak to a Victim Services Officer, please call our toll-free number:

Federal offenders who have taken responsibility for their actions can express their interest to participate in the Restorative Opportunities program to a CSC staff person, (ex. parole officer, chaplain, psychologist, etc.). The request will then be forwarded to CSC's Restorative Justice Division. Requests made directly by an offender are not accepted.

CSC's Commissioner's Directive 785 provides additional information on CSC staff responsibilities regarding the Restorative Opportunities program.

Resources, reports and research

Consult our restorative justice resources, reports and research.

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