Restorative Justice

FairField Center actively pursues Restorative Justice initiatives in many settings. Restorative Justice brings together people affected by wrongdoing – victims, offenders, local communities – to address the problem with the help of a facilitator.

We work with the Harrisonburg Police Department toward implementation of a pre-arrest RJ referral program.

We train offenders facing release to help them understand the impact of their offense on their families and communities.

We offer Truancy Mediation Services to help school officials and students find a viable approach to improving school attendance.

We offer Community Conferencing in which people affected by wrongdoing – victims, offenders, local communities – address the problem with the help of a facilitator.

Community Conferencing is at the heart of Restorative Justice. With the help of a highly trained facilitator, affected parties discuss how the wrongdoing affected them, how to restore trust and a sense of safety, and steps toward righting the wrong.

Before a conference takes place, the RJ facilitator works with the parties separately to explain the process, develop boundaries, identify concerns and build trust. The meeting takes place when both parties are ready to work together productively. Thorough preparation is key to a successful outcome.

A key part of RJ is the empowerment that comes with developing a safe setting for the discussion and the ability to safely address the other party. The support of the facilitator and the process make this possible. The sense of empowerment contributes substantially to personal recovery from wrongdoing.

To complete the RJ process, the parties develop an agreement, allowing the offender to repair harm done and the victim to accept the effort for repair. RJ offers benefits both parties – click here to read more about benefits of Restorative Justice.