Restorative Justice Conferencing Program#
What is it?#
The Restorative Justice Conferencing Program (RJCP) provides a voluntary opportunity for young people (age 10-22) who have committed eligible offenses to deal with their charge in a way that is meaningful to themselves and the community. In RJCP, the victim's perspective and needs are central to the process. Victims have a choice in their level of participation.
How does it work?#
RJCP consists of meetings for all participants and contract obligations for the young offender to fulfill in between. The completion meeting is optional for victims and community members.:
Pre-Conference Meetings (1-1.5 hours/each meeting)
Each participant will meet with RJCP facilitators for a preconference meeting. At this meeting they will learn more about the RJCP process and will prepare for the upcoming RJ circle. They will discuss the incident and explore their thoughts and feelings about the incident and who has been impacted by it. Each participant will develop ideas on how the youth could repair the harm caused by the incident.
Conference Meeting (2-3 hours)
The RJCP Conference is a face-to-face meeting that includes: the young offender/s and their parents/guardians; the victim/victim representatives, community representatives and the RJCP facilitators. The discussion will focus on who has been harmed by the incident, how they have been harmed, and what can be done to repair the harm. The circle participants together will develop a contract to address repairing the harm caused by the incident. The young offender/s will be responsible for fulfilling the contract, which include a minimum of 20 restorative hours.
Completion Meeting (1 hour)
Young people and their parent/guardian will return for a follow-up interview with RJCP staff and/or volunteers when the contract obligations are complete (usually about a month). They must bring written verification of all contract items to this interview. Other participants from the circle will be invited to attend the interview but attendance is optional. If all contract items are complete and verified, the young person will have completed the program.