Founded in 1998, CRJI aspires to build a tolerant, responsive, and inclusive community by providing restorative justice services to local areas.
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Restorative mediation is a process through which disputing parties can come together to develop an agreement to the issue they are experiencing in a safe environment with the support of our trained restorative practitioners. This process—often referred to as an "encounter" in restorative terms—gives victims the chance to talk about the impact of an offense, get answers, and move forward with their lives, and also gives offenders the opportunity to understand the impact of their behaviour, take accountability, and make amends. CRJI facilitates this experience and helps parties resolve their problems and create agreements to prevent future conflict.
This is a voluntary process, and CRJI practitioners make contact with each party to gain consent to continue the activity. After gaining consent, our practitioners meet with each party separately and confidentially to assess the situation and identify the issues to be addressed. Where appropriate, practitioners prepare the parties and work towards bringing them together for a direct mediation. In certain instances, an indirect mediation will be used, where the mediator acts as a go-between for the parties. The goal of the mediation is to put in place restorative outcomes that are agreed upon by the parties and to ensure positive results for everyone involved. CRJI will continue to support clients after resolutions are made and will additionally connect clients to further services as needed.
If You Have Been Contacted
If you have received a letter from CRJI, or have otherwise been contacted by our offices regarding a potential restorative mediation, please contact your local office to set up an appointment to learn more about the process. Please note that your participation is entirely voluntary. If you do agree to participate, services are offered free of charge, and our impartial practitioners will work to support outcomes that benefit all parties.
Please note that CRJI has a duty of care to pass along any information disclosed to our offices related to criminal offenses or child protection issues to the relevant agencies.
The Restorative Approach
“Like mediation programs, many restorative justice programs are designed around the possibility of a facilitated meeting or an encounter between victims, offenders, and perhaps community members. However, an encounter is not always chosen or appropriate.
Moreover, restorative approaches are important even when an offender has not been apprehended or when a party is unwilling or unable to meet. So restorative approaches are not limited to an encounter.
Even when an encounter occurs, the term 'mediation' is not a fitting description of what could happen. In a mediated conflict or dispute, parties are assumed to be on a level moral playing field, often with responsibilities that may need to be shared on all sides. While this sense of shared blame may be true in some criminal cases, in many cases it is not. Victims of rapes or even burglaries do not want to be known as 'disputants.' In fact, they may well be struggling to over- come a tendency to blame themselves.
At any rate, to participate in most restorative justice encounters, a wrongdoer must admit to some level of responsibility for the offense, and an important component of such programs is to name and acknowledge the wrongdoing. The neutral language of mediation may be misleading and even offensive in many cases.
Although the term 'mediation' was adopted early on in the restorative justice field, it is increasingly being replaced by terms such as 'conferencing' or 'dialogue' for the reasons outlined above.”
— Howard Zehr (2002) 'The Little Book Of Restorative Justice'