Restorative Justice is a response to wrong-doing that emphasizes repairing the harm that was created by the wrongdoing.
Restorative Justice Facilitators provide several processes that help wrong-doers and the people they have harmed come together in a safe space and respectfully discuss what needs to take place to make right the wrong.
A restorative justice conference is a process that is used to bring people who cause harm together with people who have been harmed and a trained facilitator to talk about the offense.
Each person involved may bring a supporter to the meeting and members of the community may also be invited.
During this conference, each person is given the opportunity to voice their concerns and describe the ways in which they and others around them were harmed.
After taking responsibility for the offense and hearing the harms caused, the wrong-doer is made accountable not only to the law ( if this is a court referred offense), but to the person who was harmed and to the community.
Participation in the restorative justice conference is always voluntary by both the victim and the offender.
Often in the restorative justice conference, the person who was harmed and the wrong-doer make decisions together which repairs the harm, and restores the wrong-doer’s place within their community. Restorative Justice may or may not restore the relationship, as it is often best for the two to remain away from each other.
After the wrongdoing has been documented, the case may be referred to the Virginia Center for Restorative Justice.
A Restorative Justice Facilitator will contact the person did the harm and the person who was harmed by letter and make an appointment to meet for a Pre-Conference.
At the Pre-Conference, the Restorative Justice Facilitator will explain the restorative justice process and listen to the person who was harmed explain how they were impacted and their point of view.
At a separate Pre-Conference, the Restorative Justice Facilitator will explain the restorative justice process and listen to the person who did the harm explain how they experienced the harm and their point of view.
Further, a date, time and place for convening the Victim/Offender Conference will be decided and all participants will agree to meet in a respectful manner.
The outcome of the conference is often a written agreement signed by the person who was harmed and the wrongdoer.
This will be implemented and followed up by the restorative justice facilitator.
The participants have talked about the harm that was caused by the crime and what it will take to repair the harm.
The actions that are discussed will be agreed on and written out in detail.
Agreements may involve a variety of practical solutions to the problem.
Research shows that 90% of restorative justice conferences result in agreements.
Because they involve a collective response to the problem, conference agreements often increase the support provided by the local community where people are affected by the crime.
About the Center
We are a faith based non-profit organization dedicated to providing cooperative methods of resolving conflict. Our services include training and facilitation of restorative justice conferencing, restorative justice circles, restorative justice values-based programs, and introductory restorative justice training.