A restorative response focuses on harm to people and relationships and is applicable in a criminal and non-criminal context. Facilitation services are available to convene a meeting involving the person causing harm, the person harmed, their supports, and the formal authority involved.
A restorative meeting offers a safe, respectful space for people to share their stories about what happened, and explore how people and relationships were impacted. The meeting ends with a discussion on what needs to happen to make things right, such as: how to repair the harm, promote healing, restore a sense of safety, a climate of respect, fix the problem, move forward.
The intent of restorative resolution services is to address the underlying reasons for hurtful/harmful behavior to promote safer, more connected families, workplaces, and communities.
Photo: Community Meeting on how to support Youth Involved in the Criminal Justice System, Fort McMurray, 2019
REFERRAL CRITERIA CONSIDERATIONS
Is there is a specific incident to focus on? Is there is an identifiable victim or community impact?
Harassment or threats to another person
Violence or threat of violence
Physical harm (to a person or to a property)
Disruption of someone’s social network, significant social repercussions; such as causing enough fear or humiliation where a victim becomes isolated and their daily life is impacted
Are there secondary parties affected who are not directly involved in the incident that need support? Examples include:
An incident is disruptive enough to jeopardize productivity, learning, and relationships
Friends or family, out of loyalty, escalate the conflict that led to the harmful incident
An individual will be returning to the (workplace, school, family, community, group home, foster home) after being gone for some time, and simmering conflict might erupt again
An incident causes an individual to worry about how safe the community is, even if their own kin or other associates have not been harmed
Does the person responsible acknowledge their role for the harm caused?
If charges have not been laid (but could be), the individual can accept responsibility without conceding legal guilt (use of Police Discretion)
If criminal charges have been laid, a guilty plea must be entered. If the person charged is maintaining innocence altogether, a court trial is the appropriate route
In a non-criminal context, will this enhance your agency or school disciplinary measures?
Does the person impacted (victim) believe a restorative justice meeting will meet their needs? If not, are there other ways they would like to exercise their voice?
Is this a general conflict? If the incident reflects a larger conflict, which is often the case when parties involved are friends, neighbors, or relatives, would they be interested in addressing the breakdown in the relationship?