What to Expect from Fairview Community Restorative Justice

Throughout our 7 year history we have continued to work towards improving the Fairview Community Restorative Justice program and adapting to meet the needs of our referring agencies and the communities in the Fairview Detachment area. The program deals with youth and adults as a diversion to court for fist time offences and minor crime. 

Our main referral source is the RCMP. When an offense is suitable, restorative justice is considered. In order for a file to be considered the offender(s) must be remorseful, admit guilt and be willing to make amends. The RCMP ask the victim(s) if he/she is interested in participating in the restorative justice program as an alternative to going through court. This is voluntary process on part of the victims and offenders.

Once the RCMP assess that the incident/offence is suitable for the program, it is referred to the Program Coordinator. Offences previously referred by Fairview RCMP are: theft, mischief, shoplifting, vandalism and minor assault. 

If Victim/Offender are minors, parents/guardians must be contacted, give written consent and agree to be present during the Restorative Justice Process.  

The RCMP send the file to the Restorative Justice program coordinator. The coordiantor reviews the file and contacts all particpants named in the file as directed. She then assigns 2 volunteer facilitators and a mentor to each file.   

Fairview Community Restorative Justice is a community run program that uses Victims Offender Mediation(VOM) and Community Justice Forums (CJF)as its models.

The FCRJ programs role is to bring the victim and offender together to address the victim’s harms and needs, while holding the offenders accountable to put right those harms. It is not to determine guilt or innocence, or to further investigate the crime.

 The program coordinator is the one to make initial contact with the victims and offenders named in the file along with any witnesses specified. There are times when a ripple effect of the harm affects the community but we do not facilitate contact with anyone not named in the file unless directed by police or requested by the victim(s).

The FCRJ Coordinator will ensure all documents and information provided by RCMP remains secure and confidential and will only be shared with appropriate parties.

There is the program coordiantor, 2 volunteer facilitators, and a trained volunteer mentor assigned to each file.

The pre-interviews are done seperately with each party prior to the forum. Each party is given an opportunity to talk about the offence and how they were impacted. The rules of mediation and questions that will be asked are shared so everyone has a clear understanding of the process, and an opportunity to state what they would like to see happen as a result of the fourum. This is also the time where we ask for damage estimates, invoices and ideas for community service options.  

We use a script to make ensure nothing is missed. 

During the forum, each person, without interruption is given an opportunity to talk about how the offence has impacted them and how the harms need to be addressed.

There is discussion of the issues and concerns. Everyone is given the opportunity to ask questions and make responses important to them. It can then be determine what needs to happen to repair the damage done.

A safe and respectful atmosphere will be maintained. We may call a break if we feel it’s needed and if at any time particpants wish to call a break, they are asked to address the facilitators.

The co-facilitator will take notes in order to make sure all ideas are tracked during discussion to best determining solutions for the agreement. The co-facilitator will write down the formal agreement between parties so there will be a clear understanding of what is to be done to resolve the harm. That agreement is signed by the victims, offender and witnessed. A copy is given to each party involved in the agreement, the RCMP get the original and the Program keeps a copy. All notes are shredded. 

Each offender is assigned a mentor who will take part in each step of the process and follow up with the offender regarding the contract agreement if necessary. 

The FCRJ Coordinator will notify referring RCMP member by email of the date for the forum and will provide a signed copy of the restorative Justice agreement.

 An email and/or hard copy of the final restorative justice report will be sent to the referring member when the agreement is complete.

Note; General non-descriptive case information may be used for training purposes. No names or identifying details will be discussed. All cases are confidential.

This is a general overview of the Restorative Justice program in Fairview Detachment area.For more information please call the FCRJ Coordiantor Mary Bracken @ 780-835-5471 or email at fcrc@telus.net 

                                                                                                

 

 

Pamela MacKay