“I could only hear half the story” In becoming aware of this reality, David Shantz, then a prison chaplain, decided to build on existing initiatives from abroad to organize the first victim-offender encounters in Québec’s penitentiaries. That was twenty years ago.
Ten years later, he met Thérèse de Villette who had just been the secondary victim of a murder. After gaining awareness of restorative justice’s benefits, she began implementing this approach in her own life. At almost the same time, David and Thérèse met Mario Marchant who had just finished a course on Restorative Justice at Eastern Mennonite University (USA). Thérèse and Mario saw the need to create a centre to promote restorative justice and respond to the needs of victims, offenders, and the community.
David, Thérèse, and Mario, together with other pioneers (Raoul Lincourt and Gilles David, among others), decided to create the Centre for Services in Restorative Justice, which was accredited in on September 11th, 2001.
Since then, 550 people living with the consequences of similar crimes have chosen to dare this encounter.