A restorative community conference is a face-to-face encounter between the victim(s)/community, the offender(s), individuals who support each of them, and others who have been affected by the incident. Led by a trained facilitator, this encounter seeks to identify, repair and prevent harm, based in values of meaningful accountability. Participation of the community and/or victim is completely voluntary, and participation of the offender is based upon their willingness and readiness. Conferences focus on empowering the participants, looking at underlying causes to co-create a restorative agreement to be completed in a timely manner.
RJCA is the only restorative justice adult diversion program in the
RJCA developed a process to address individual conflicts/harms based on the
|1) Intake— A phone conversation to determine eligibility.
2) In-Person Orientation— A meeting that describes the process more fully, provides opportunity for questions, and enrolls the participant in the program.
3) Community Conference—
• Introductions and Overview– Procedures reviewed; incidents reviewed; admission of responsibility,
• Discussion of Impact– Offenders tell what happened; community members, offender supporters, and any direct victims tell how the offenders’ behavior impacted them and their community,
• Repairing Harm– The group as a whole works together to establish a plan for restitution to victim and/or community, decided by consensus, including details of local service projects,
• Closing– Final comments; agreement signatures; refreshments and socializing.
4) Agreement Completion— Each offender has 2 months from the date of the conference to complete the agreement.
1) Preparation Meetings— Each primary part will meet with facilitators to discuss concerns, harms, and expectations. Preparatory meetings will continue until both parties agree they are ready to meet face to face.
2) Face to Face Meetings— Parties and their supporters will meet for a face to face dialogue. More than one meeting may be needed to come to conclusion.
3) Conclusion— Both parties come to consensus around an agreement of reparation or closure.
RJCA’s reparative agreements often include provisions that address root causes of criminal behavior and provide alternatives for meeting the offender’s needs along with restitution in some form to the community. Counseling, chemical health assessments, and education are common personal development provisions included in the agreements.