Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI) is a community-based organisation that brings people together with the aim of resolving and reducing conflicts. Operating with fully trained practitioners, CRJI delivers a host of programmes that have been developed to help identify and address issues within communities and find positive solutions through communication.
What is Community Restorative Justice?
To grasp what CRJI does, it is important to understand the principles of community restorative justice. Restorative justice doesn’t focus on punishment but rather focuses on repairing harm that has been afflicted by others, putting victims and those that have been exposed to most of the hurt at the centre, letting them create solutions with the aid of a mediator.
The restorative justice framework is informed by a set of internationally recognised values principles and standards. There are many different methods for allowing restorative justice to occur including things like sentencing circles, victim-offender mediation, and even family group conferencing.
What makes restorative justice unique is that it helps people recognise how their actions impact and affect others. It ensures that people are held accountable for their actions and allows individuals to reflect and interact with one another to try and move forward.
What Does CRJI Do?
The role of CRJI is to build systems and processes in communities that promote inclusivity and tolerance while offering restorative justice services in spaces that require it. Our aim is to respond to conflict and make strides to repair the damage that has been caused.
Providing a wide range of accredited services to the local community, CRJI empowers individuals to resolve issues that affect their quality of life. Promoting non-violent reparation of harm, we proudly offer our services to everyone, for free, to encourage people to heal and communicate. Some of the services we offer include:
● Advice Services
● Intervention services
● Youth mentoring services
● Victim support services
● Mediation services
● STARS Project
● Family Support Hub
CRJI is an open platform for people to share their grievances and concerns, and we deal with a wide range of issues for people within the community. Some of the issues that we have dealt with in the past have included:
● Drug or alcohol issues
● Conflicts between family members and friends
● Noise disturbances and anti-social behaviour
● Property damage
● Theft and burglary
● Intimidation and harassment
● Assaults and threats
● Financial disputes
● Issues around minority groups and vulnerable adults
● Neighbourhood disputes
Open to communication from anyone who requires it, CRJI takes referrals from community groups, community members, and statutory authorities and authorities. To access our services, all that has to be done is to contact one of CRJI’s local offices. We have an open-door policy; our service is open to all.
Getting Involved with CRJI
Communities are the crucial factor for CRJI and participation from them is critical for developing safe intervention methods and restorative practices within their areas. CRJI operates through taking referrals on cases or issues, or offers communities the opportunity to sign up for projects and training opportunities.
We offer active, local action groups where our trained practitioners deliver programmes to those who need aid in identifying and addressing the issues that they are currently facing. This helps to deliver positive outcomes that impact the whole community in a constructive and productive manner.
There are a myriad of benefits for using restorative justice in your community including creating safer communities through giving victims a voice, empowering them to create change and healing in their areas. This brings positive resolutions and general satisfaction into community spaces.
Using a restorative justice approach creates a sense of trust within the community, promoting meaningful engagement and interactions with participants, as well as setting the groundwork for rehabilitation to occur and creating a reduction in recidivism which benefits the community and those further afield.
Based all over the North of Ireland, CRJI has offices in Belfast, Derry, Lurgan/Craigavon, and Newry/South Armagh. If you want to get involved or want more information on the important work that CRJI do, send us a message on our website https://www.crjireland.org or Twitter @CRJIcentral. If you prefer to call then you can reach your local office by phone 02890 301521.