Life in prison doesn’t provide many inmates with a chance to be themselves. “Everybody has a face that they wear, a persona that they have to do their time,” says Mike H., who is serving in Springhill Institution in Nova Scotia.*
But restorative justice committees, run by the John Howard Society of South East New Brunswick, an MCC partner, provide the men with an opportunity to let their guards down and reflect on how their crime impacted the victims. The committees bring together inmates with community volunteers for regular discussions.
“We’re all supposed to be here to pay our debt, but if at the end the only thing you’ve paid is time that’s a waste” — Mike H.
The meetings also help inmates think about how to live restoratively. “It’s a way that you get to grow that you can only do in this environment,” Mike says.
*Last name withheld to protect privacy.