TRU’s fourth annual Restorative Justice Symposium will host Margot Van Sluytman and the man who murdered her father, Glen Flett.
Alana Abramson, the event’s organizer, said the symposium will highlight Van Sluytman and Flett’s experience with restorative justice.
“It’s a very unusual story, one that you don’t hear every day. To have the daughter of a murder victim be embracing the person who took her father’s life is very compelling. I think that it will tell students a lot about forgiveness and healing,” Abramson said.
Flett committed the crime during a robbery in Toronto and served 23 years in prison as a result. Paroled in 1992, he began to turn his life around and is now the founder and co-facilitator of Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.).
The symposium will showcase how Flett and Van Sluytman used restorative justice to heal and come together.
“There’s a lack of information about restorative justice in Kamloops and in other cities, and the people who do know about it, I think they believe restorative justice is only for minor crimes,” Abramson said.
Restorative justice, she said, can be applied to deal with harm in a variety of situations in our daily lives as well as with minor and major crimes.
“Restorative justice can be applied to very serious and violent crimes like murder, as in the case of Margot and Glen. We want people to understand that the justice system is limited in its ability to provide answers and information and support to victims. So, restorative justice can be used in addition to the formal system to create more opportunities for healing for victims and offenders,” Abramson said.
Restorative justice is a philosophical view of justice that promotes healing in victims and accountability of offenders while creating safe and healthy communities. The goal of restorative justice is to reach fair outcomes using inclusion, open communication and truth.
This event is free and open to the public. It will take place on Nov. 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Irving K. Barber Centre in the House of Learning. To RSVP for the event or to find out more information you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.