The contemporary RJ movement began in 1974 in Canada in an experiment in relational restitution for a property crime. Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP) began spreading, often as ministries of local churches, and became the backbone of the movement. There are today many different victim-offender dialogue programs throughout North America and around the world, now also administered by probation departments, community mediation centers, and other organizations. Over the last forty years, Restorative Justice theory and practice has been applied to conflicts in schools, communities and churches.
Elaine Enns has been working in the field of restorative justice since 1989. For the first 15 years of her career, she was part of the pioneering generation of contemporary restorative justice practitioners whose focus was on the Criminal Justice System. Elaine facilitated victim-offender dialogues, provided training and worked to apply restorative justice principles and theory to conflict issues in schools, communities and churches. For the past decade, Elaine has worked to broaden and deepen applications of restorative justice (see her and Ched’s 2009 two-volume Ambassadors of Reconciliation: New Testament Reflections and Diverse Christian Practices of Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.
Recently Elaine completed doctoral work on how restorative justice applies to historical violations, including issues of intergenerational trauma and healing. See a list of her publications here.