Restorative Justice brings together people affected by wrongdoing – victims, offenders, local communities – to address the problem with the help of a facilitator. People may come together once or many times. 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 meeting 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, a agreement is developed and followed, allowing the offender to repair harm done and the victim to accept the effort for repair.