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Table of Contents

I. Introduction

Cathexis Consulting Inc. was engaged to conduct an evaluation in order to assess the extent to which the objectives of the Results-based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) have been met in relation to two components of the Effective Corrections and Citizen Engagement Initiative (ECCEI).

1.1 The effective corrections and citizen engagement initiative

The Effective Corrections and Citizen Engagement Initiative is funded at $45M over five years from 2001 – 2005 and is intended to achieve the following goals:

Although the initiative includes an Aboriginal component designed specifically to address the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison, this interim evaluation address the following two components:

1.2 Purpose of the evaluation

This interim evaluation is intended to address evaluation questions from the initiative RMAF in the following two key areas:

Relevance: Does ECI make sense?

  1. Was ECI an appropriate response to the needs identified?
  2. Have the needs changed from those ECI was originally intended to meet?
  3. Should ECI continue?
  4. Are the objectives of ECI consistent with current government, Portfolio and Departmental priorities and objectives?

Cost-Effectiveness: Given alternatives, is ECI the most cost-effective way to achieve the objectives?:

  1. Is ECI the most cost-effective way to achieve the stated objectives?
  2. Were the elements of due diligence (including eligibility) applied by the ECI?
  3. What can be done to deliver ECI in a more cost-effective manner?
  4. What are alternatives to ECI in attempting to meet the stated objectives?

At this point the emphasis is determining whether the activities and outputs of the initiative occurred according to plan. Because this initiative is aimed at major social change, it is too early to determine whether those activities and outputs have actually resulted in improved criminal justice policy or increased public confidence in the criminal justice system.

1.3 Evaluation methodology

Because of time constraints, this evaluation was conducted primarily by using secondary sources of information supplemented by qualitative data obtained through interviews. It should be viewed as a preliminary report and will point to areas that may be fruitful to explore further as the initiative progresses. The following documents were reviewed:

The following people were interviewed:

Interview guides are attached in Appendix A. A draft report was produced, based on the information available from the above sources and reviewed by key people in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

ll. Summary of findings

While many of the individual projects are quite interesting, this evaluation focuses on the initiative as a whole, so this section provides summary data, referring to individual projects in the context of their contributions to the overall initiative.

2.1 Enhancing the community corrections infrastructure

The Community Corrections component is intended to provide opportunities for ‘action research’ by applying some of the theory of restorative justice in real life situations. Most of the projects included an education component as well as a conferencing component. Summaries of significant data for each of the projects are attached in Appendix B.

All of the projects were established to provide evidence that a restorative justice approach is an appropriate response to some situations. To date there have been six projects funded. The Victim Companion & Contracting Safe Justice project was just recently funded in January, 2004 so would not be expected to produce results. Table 2 outlines the activities and outcomes achieved by the remaining projects.

Table 2: Achievements of Programs

Project Participants Meetings Successful Outcomes* Seen by Court Education Sessions
Towards an Model of Justice 76 14 26 6 43
Collaborative Justice Program 151 91 76    
Restorative Justice Options to Parole Suspension 15   15    
Lanark County Community Justice Program   6     9
Restorative Parole 86 26 7   57
Total 328 137 124** 6 109

*Agreements reached/offender taking responsibility
**This number does not represent the total number of people involved

The table is intended to give an indication of the cumulative impact the projects, not as a comparison between projects. Each of the projects is quite different and produced different reports. For example, with Lanark County, the report only covers a six month period and their community forums involved a number of participants. With the Collaborative Justice Project, the data is from two reports, covering a much more extensive period. Many of their meetings were one-on-one.

Was this a relevant response?

In a word, yes. This component was intended to demonstrate not only the value of restorative justice, but to explore under what conditions it works best. The environment in which the projects operated supported projects being critical of themselves. Two projects indicated that they were not as successful as they had hoped and emphasis was placed on learning from the experience. Winnipeg’s Restorative Parole/Community Reintegration had problems getting the involvement of victims. Two key learnings were: 1) it is much more difficult to involve victims later in the process and 2) it is essential to involve a victim support organization as the primary initiator. A modified program has been developed with the primary emphasis on victim support. It has just received funding. The Victoria Restorative Justice Options to Parole Suspension Project was disappointed at the lack of referrals from the parole office, but felt that there were substantial learnings: 1) that it is essential to have the local parole office committed to the project; and 2) that it would make more sense to work with a single team rather than trying to engage all parole officers. These projects both indicated that despite the lack of involvement of the victims, those offenders who were involved gained a greater understanding of the impact of their behaviour on others and seemed more willing to move towards taking responsibility for their own behaviour.

The other projects provide some excellent examples of learnings from success. Perhaps the most persuasive evidence of success is reflected in the contacts between victims and offenders. The following are two examples:

  1. A young man was arrested about 2 years after committing armed robbery at a convenience store. He was holding the gun. The victim asked him why he was doing this to himself. The question struck home. He moved back home and returned. Through our process he pled guilty right away. He met with the victim to apologize and thank victim for turning his life around. They came to an agreement that was sent to the court. The victim indicated that he did not feel jail was appropriate because the offender was turning his life around. The judge gave him a stringent conditional sentence - saying this was the first time he had given such a sentence for an armed robbery.
  2. A young man had broken into a man’s house and found a large sum of money. He had no criminal record, this event seemed to be aberrant behaviour. Through our process, the offender and victim met. The victim came in and was somewhat fatherly, talking about the impact on him and his family. The victim gave the offender some fatherly advice about choosing friends carefully and asking for help when he needed it. The young man apologized. Towards the end the victim reached out to shake the young man’s hand (which was what the young man wanted). The victim asked that the young man be given his phone number so the offender could call him if he ever needed help. The victim indicated that he hoped some day the young man could come to his house, being welcomed through the front door as it should be. The young fellow had paid restitution. The victim handed back the certified check – as a symbol of faith. There was incredible impact on this young man – it virtually left him speechless. The judge gave him a conditional discharge. This young man was determined to prove to the victim that he would take advantage of this chance.

While not all outcomes can be this positive, where there is such tremendous moving forward, project staff who were interviewed indicated that conferences such as the above frequently result in healing on the part of the victim and the offender gaining greater empathy.

The Collaborative Justice Project in Ottawa conducted a participant satisfaction survey which found:

While there were more victims not happy with the process than there were offenders, there is still a very high percentage of both victims and offenders who were positive about the experience and found it to be fair.

Is it the most cost-effective response?

The information provided did not focus on the cost of the approaches taken by the demonstration projects compared to the cost had the situation been addressed in a different way. The project-level reporting does not give sufficient information to determine the cost compared to successful outcome or the cost compared to alternative outcomes. Table 3 provides a summary of the amount of funding expended and the amount gained from other resources.

Table 3: Funding of Enhancing Community Corrections Projects

Project Year Funded Amount of Funding Funding from Other Sources
Towards an Integrated Model of Justice 2002/03 138210 182150
  2003/04 148500 155900
Collaborative Justice Project 2000/01 48000 169900
  2001/02 55000 217290
Restorative Justice Options to Parole Suspension 2001/02 52000 36000
  2002/03 35475  
Lanark County Community Justice Program 2002/03 71500 13144
  2003/04 39855  
Restorative Parole 2000/01 122100 183,124
Victims Companions and Contracting Safe
2003/04 48941  
Total Allocated   759581 957,508

There is not evidence one way or another to determine whether this is the most costeffective way to achieve the stated objectives. This is an area that will require additional attention in the final evaluation.

2.2 Public Education/Citizen engagement

Figure 1 presents Prochaska’s theory of change model for individuals. This initiative attempts to translate the theory into practice for the entire population of Canada.

Figure 1: Stages of Change

Figure 1: Stages of change

It is almost impossible to determine whether a public education or citizen engagement process has had the desired impact within the first few years of an initiative. This particular initiative is looking for change with policy development and public confidence. It also very difficult to determine just how far reaching efforts have been. Despite these limitations, it is possible to point to some specific achievements:

Table 4 provides examples of funded projects with the funding provided. It is clear from this list that a variety of activities have occurred. It is not possible to determine, from the information provided, the extent to which participants found that the sessions directly contributed to different ways of looking at the justice system. Feedback from the evaluation forms (e.g. What Works Conference) and informal reports on the Speakers Series indicated the participants found the events and information useful.

Table 4: Examples of Citizen Engagement/Public Education Funding

Project Funding
Solicitor General Canada Speakers Series 30000
Advancing Restorative Justice Conference – Hull  
Advancing Restorative Justice Conference – British Columbia 20000
What is Working in Restorative Justice Community
Forum – Moncton
John Howard Society Community Forum – Calgary 5000
John Howard Community Forum – Charlottetown 5000
John Howard Society Community Forum – Dartmouth 6000
Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical
National Associations Active in Criminal Justice Policy
Semaganis Gatherings 100000
CCRA 10th Anniversary Publications 40000
What Works” in Public Safety – Montreal 15000
Total 399,000

2.3 Overall findings

Is the Initiative Relevant?

The overwhelming response is yes, it is relevant. Table 5 outlines the response of key informants regarding the relevancy of the ECCEI initiative. Consistently, respondents indicated that there would be little opportunity to introduce restorative justice without this targeted funding.

Table 5: Relevancy: Key Informant Responses

Question Response
Yes No Not sure
Is ECCEI an appropriate response to the identified need? 9 - 2
Have the needs changed from those ECCEI was originally intended to meet? - 11 -
Should ECCEI continue? 11 - -
Are the objectives consistent with current government, portfolio and departmental priorities and objectives? 11 - -

Two people who were not sure if ECI was an appropriate response indicated that various components had varying effectiveness; in other words the respondents felt the initiative is an appropriate response to the need, but did not know whether all funded projects were the best response. Others pointed strongly to the opportunities for learning even with projects that did not achieve their specific goals.

Were the elements of due diligence (including eligibility) applied by the ECI?

Proposals were solicited from organizations with knowledge and experience of restorative justice. Because this is a relatively small number of agencies that it is fairly well networked across Canada, those involved on the committee that made the selections felt they were able to get fairly high quality proposals. One person did indicate that the process could be improved by having clearer parameters for proposals. The criteria for selection seems to have been understood by committee members:

This evaluation process did not include an in-depth exploration of the process with a review of the records. Because the records provided to us do not include financial, progress or final reports for all of the projects, we assume that we do not have full documentation. Therefore, we cannot comment as to whether due diligence was followed in all cases.

Based on the information available it is evident that the funding went to projects that were consistent with the goals of the initiative, that funding went to established organizations and that those organizations have experience with restorative justice.

What can be done to deliver ECI in a more cost-effective manner?

One of the challenges has been that this initiative is peripheral to the core work of the department, and staff have been delivering it by contributing their own time. Hence it is highly cost-effective from one perspective. But one cannot help but wonder if in the long run such added demand might lead to burn out and increased turnover, which can be costly. For the next evaluation, it will be important to establish the extent to which restorative justice creates cost savings within the system. If such savings can be established, it should support putting additional resources into administering the initiative.

What are alternatives to ECI in attempting to meet the stated objectives?

No one posed alternatives. Respondents indicated the need for expansion rather than alternatives.

lll. Analysis and interpretation of findings

Table 6 provides an overview of the conclusions in relation to each of the questions.

Table 6: Conclusions In Relation to Evaluation Questions

Evaluation Question Conclusion
Was ECI an appropriate response to the needs identified? Yes – it provided an opportunity to build the knowledge base, demonstrate effective restorative justice and get the message out to a broader audience.
Have the needs changed from those ECI was originally intended to meet? No – it is part of a significant social change process that is likely to take year.
Should ECI continue? Yes – it looks as though it is effective and it is still needed. The job is not yet done.
Are the objectives of ECI consistent with current government, Portfolio and Departmental priorities and objectives? Yes – public safety continues to be a high priority as does the develop of effective policies
Cost Effectiveness
Is ECI the most cost-effective way to achieve the stated objectives? Not sufficient information to draw a conclusion
Were the elements of due diligence (including eligibility) applied by the ECI? Overall, yes. However there should probably be more attention to consistent reporting back
What can be done to deliver ECI in a more cost-effective manner? Not sufficient information, although it looks fairly cost-efficient.
What are alternatives to ECI in attempting to meet the stated objectives? Not sufficient information.

The initiative has also provided the opportunity for some key learnings such as the following:

This particular initiative appears to have taken some difficult but appropriate steps for supporting innovation. Almost all respondents indicated that as much could be learned from some of the projects that did not achieve their goals as from projects that did. This initiative is being implemented in a ‘learning culture’.

lV. Conclusions and suggestions

The Effective Corrections and Citizen Engagement Initiative appears to be successful. The key changes suggested for the initiative are:

This interim evaluation provides only a preliminary picture of that success. In order for the next evaluation to be able to come to more definitive conclusions, it will be important to establish a more systematic mechanism for collecting and interpreting information.

The following are some considerations for further evaluation of the initiative:

Some areas to explore with the Community Corrections pilots:

Some areas to explore with Citizen Engagement/Public Education:

Appendix A: Interview Guides


  1. To what degree do you believe that Effective Corrections and Citizen Engagement initiative has been effective? (Probe for examples of alternatives to prison for Aboriginal people, improved criminal justice policy, improved public confidence in the criminal justice system)
  2. Of the projects that have been funded, which have been most successful in achieving the goals of the initiative? (Probe the reasons)
  3. What lessons have been learned from both successful and less successful projects?
  4. To what extent are the objectives of the initiative consistent with current government policy and priorities? What needs to be changed?
  5. Describe the process for selection of the projects. (Probe: the rfp process, who selected, what criteria were used, how was the criteria applied)
  6. Is the initiative still needed? Should the initiative continue? Why or why not?

Project Contacts

  1. Describe the request for proposal process and the proposal development process.
  2. In what ways are the goals of your project consistent with the goals of the Effective Corrections and Citizen Engagement initiative?
  3. To what extent did you achieve the goals you set? (Probe: evidence that goals were achieved)
  4. What unexpected results, if any, occurred?
  5. What lessons have you learned from this experience? (Probe: things to be done differently, things to be repeated or replicated)
  6. Is the initiative still needed? Should the initiative continue? Why or why not?
  7. If it continues, what changes, if any, should be made?

Appendix B: Data Summary Matrix

Data Summary Matrix – Enhancing Community Corrections Infrastructure

ECCI Funding Scope Goals in Relation to ECCE Goals Evidence Re: Achievement of Goals
Toward an Integrated Model of Justice (TIMJ) - Ottawa
$138,210. (02/03)
$148,500. (03/04)

Other Rev.:
In-kind support:
$41,800. (AGO)
JC - $40,860.
CSC - $75,000.
TF - $24,490.
CSC - $75,000.
TF - $24,900.
CD - $14,200.
In-kind support:

Have had requests for information from across Canada and around the world
  1. Develop and refine post sentence protocols and guidelines in order to operate a restorative justice program involving serious cases at the post sentence stage.
  2. Test the transferability to both small and large courthouses through a mentoring process with practitioners in other counties
  3. Establish collaboration with the Victim Witness Assistance Program in order to promote victim-initiated casework, and to identify and respond to opportunities for victim support and assistance
  • Referrals came from a range of sources: Judiciary (10); Judicial Pre-Trials (153); Counsel Pre-trial (14); Crown’s office (31); Defence Counsel (46); Police, Probation or Victim Services (14); Correctional Services of Canada (11) Individuals (2)
  • 281 cases referred
  • 134 cases completed
  • 59 Victim/offender meetings
  • 99 Resolution agreements
  • 94 Resolution agreements submitted to court
Collaborative Justice Project (CJP) - Ottawa
$42,120. (99/00)
$48,000. (00/01)

Other Rev.:
CSC - $75,000.
NCPC - $25,000.
JC. - $20,000.
In-kind: AGO – 49,900.
TF – 24,490.
YJ - $71,700.
PCVI - $30,000.
MCSO - $10,000.
NCPC – 25,000.
CSC – 25,000.
In-kind services: AGO -
  1. Holding the offender accountable in a meaningful way
  2. Repairing the harm caused by the offence to the victim, offender and community
  3. Achieving a sense of healing for the victim and the community.
  • 151 participants
  • 91 post-program interview (30 offenders, 61 victims)
  • 22% of victims reported the belief that the offender would commit a crime against another individual.
  • 31% of victims reported being more afraid of crime and implemented protective life changes as a result.
  • 85% of offenders felt their needs had been met by the program.
  • 55% of the case resulted in the offender meeting the victims
  • 91% of these cases an all party agreement was reached.
Victim Companion and Contracting Safe Justice - Winnipeg
Other revenue: $9,671 –
Justice Canada $9,671
–Manitoba Justice
$19,000 -Mennonite
Central Committee
  1. Demonstrate how restorative justice can meet the needs of victims and offenders
  2. Support victims throughout the criminal justice process
This project just received funding in January, 2004
Restorative Justice Options to Parole Suspension Project

Other revenue:
In-kind services of
  1. Use community group conferences for
    federal offenders who are facing possible
    parole suspension so suspension or revocation can be avoided
This project did not achieve its goals – they had had approximately 15 -20 successful case conferences prior to receiving the PSEPC funding, but then it began to fail. Learnings:
  • Need more buy-in from the management in the Parole Office
Lanark County Community Justice Program - Perth

Other revenue:
$13,144 – Trillium Fdn
  • Use Community justice forums to work towards repairing the harm done when people break the law.
6 community justice forums completed
6 additional
community justice forums planned
1 orientation session
1 facilitator training course
6 (monthly) professional development
Presented at to a network of community
policing officers
9 fully trained facilitators
12 newly trained facilitator
John Howard Society of Manitoba Restorative Parole/Community Reintegration
Local   Project did not achieve its goals.
  • 16 Victim participants
  • 30 victim refusals
  • 70 offender participants
  • 7 successful victim/offender meeting
  • 111 community and institutional workshops
  • Offenders can gain understanding of their impact on victims even if victim does not participate
  • Need to work with victim organizations to support process
  • The time elapsed makes it difficult to engage victims

Management action plan (map) Evaluation of two components of the Effective Corrections Initiative

Suggestions recommendations Action Action by Date Comments
Additional staff be dedicated to this initiative   Corrections and Criminal Justice Directorate N/A One FTE was resourced to work on the community corrections portion of this initiative. Unless additional resources become available, no new staffing is planned as a result of this initiative.
Replicate successful projects in other areas Some of the successful public education and citizenship engagement projects shuch as the charity offender art auctions have been replicated in various cities across Canada. In addition, the speaker’s bureau had been expanded to several regions. Some of these projects will be replicated in other areas if
ongoing funding id secured.

Should funding be secured for 2005-06 and ongoing, the Department plans to implement and evaluate restorative justice projects in other locations to determine transferability.

Corrections and
Criminal Justice
Directorate and
Agency Partners

Research and



Continue to try innovative projects Should funding be secured for 2005-06 and ongoing, the Department, along with the agencies, plans to implement
innovative projects with respect to blic education and citizen engagement.
(CSC, NPB)    
Develop a cluster evaluation
framework for each of the
two components (and other
components, if appropriate)
The evaluation framework developed for these two componets of the ECCE inititative can be implemented in a cluster evaluation format.

It is proposed to strengthen the review processes for the initiative and its projects. This will be done with cluster
evaluation processes in mind.
Corrections and
Criminal Justice



Cluster evaluations typically have four characteristics: a) They are holistic, b) they are outcomeoriented, c) they seek generalizable learning, and d) they involve frequent communications and
collaborations among partners. In cluster evaluations the subject matter work is carried out in multiple sites which use their own resources to carry out their own plans, in their own context.
Develop project level evaluation frameworks that
are consistent with RMAF
and can feed into the cluster
evaluation, using a standardized reporting format. The cluster evaluations can feed into a
roll-up evaluation of the
overall initiative.
It is proposed to strengthen the review processes for the initiative and its projects in line with the associated RMAF-RBAF and the overall PSEPC control regime for Grants and Contributions. Corrections and Criminal Justice Directorate In
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