WHAT IS FAIRVIEW COMMUNITY RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?
Fairview Community Restorative Justice is a community run program that uses Community Justice Forums as its main practice. The purpose of the program is not to determine guilt or innocence, but to address the victim’s harms and needs, while holding the offenders accountable to put right those harms.
Referrals to the program come from the Fairview RCMP Detachment, schools and the community.
The program involves victims, offenders and communities in the process.
There is great support in Alberta for the many practices under the Restorative Justice umbrella. We are active members of the Alberta Restorative Justice Association (ARJA). We are supported by the Alberta Solicitor General’s Crime Prevention & Restorative Justice Department.
The Fairview Community Restorative Justice Program is sponsored by the Fairview and Area Well Community Action Association. We serve the Town of Fairview, M.D. of Fairview and Clearhills County.
Fairview has twelve volunteer facilitators trained in victim/offender mediation and/or Community Justice Forums and/or Circle training.
WHAT IS A RESTORATIVE JUSICE FORUM?
A forum brings an offender, victim(s) and their respective families & supporters together with two trained facilitators to discuss an offence and its' effects, and to jointly decide on how to resolve the situation.
The focus of the Community Justice Forum is the offence and repairing the harm that has been done.
A primary goal is to have the offender take responsibility for his/her actions.
During the Forum, the needs of victims and the community are addressed. The process allows victims to bring closure to the incident while providing a way for community harmony to be restored.
The outcome of the Forum must be agreed to by all parties and must be seen by all as fair to victim, offender and the wider community.
WHAT A RESTORATIVE JUSTICE FORUM IS NOT:
It is NOT a means of avoiding the formal Justice system.
It is NOT about letting the offender ‘off the hook’.
It is NOT about humiliating the offender about his/her behavior.
It is NOT about judging the offender as a good or bad person.
IF YOU ARE THE OFFENDER YOU ARE EXPECTED TO DO THE FOLLOWING:
- Fully admit your part in the incident.
- Accept responsibility for your actions
- Attend the pre-interview and forum on the agreed upon date/time/place.
- Participate in a positive way in the forum.
- Listen respectfully to what others have to say.
- Apologize to the victim (s).
- Participate in reaching a resolution of the harm caused by your actions.
- Complete the requirements of the forum agreement.
- PLEASE NOTE: You are free to leave the forum at any stage. If you do leave, the matter will be referred back to the police or the courts for further action.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AS THE VICTIM?
- Explain to the offender the personal and social impacts their actions had on you or on the community that you are representing.
- Share with the forum participants the harms (emotional harm and other consequences) of the offence for you or for the community.
- Tell participants what the main issues arising from the incident are for you.
- Explain what you would like to see achieved at the forum.
- Focus on the incident and not on the offender as a good or bad person.
- Listen respectfully to what others in the forum have to say.
- Participate in reaching a fair resolution to the incident.
- Forums are held in the Fairview Provincial Building.