At age 30, John Reilly was the youngest Provincial Court Judge ever appointed in Alberta. He presided over courts in Canmore, Banff, and Cochrane, and it was in Cochrane that he had his eyes opened to the inequities faced by aboriginal people in our justice system.
Last year, he wrote Bad Medicine: A Judge's Struggle for Justice in a First Nations Community, which chronicles the change in his worldview that came from trying to understand the aboriginal people. In this moving talk, he shares stories of how he came to have a deeper understanding of what real justice is beyond simple punishment and deterrence.
Watch the video on YouTube, if you prefer.
This video is also found in an online article Retired judge John Reilly advocates for restorative justice.
From the article (well worth a full read):
Reilly now believes that jail time should be considered as a last resort and that minimum sentences should be done away with. Instead, he believes, there should be opportunity for parole at any point.
He also now advocates for restorative justice.
“The Indigenous think that wrongdoing is the result of ignorance in need of teaching or illness in need of healing,” he said. “I think we should scrap the penal code and deal with all wrongdoing in the way that the Indigenous people dealt with it.”