As a victim, you are very important in Restorative Justice.
Tri-County Restorative Justice support victims and will ensure that you are treated with courtesy, compassion and respect in a safe environment.
A quick overview of The Restorative Justice process:
- Tri-County Restorative Justice receives a referral regarding someone who has caused harm
- A pre-session is scheduled with the person who has caused harm ( this may be 1 meeting or more)
- A pre-session with victim(s) is scheduled
- Additional pre-session may be scheduled with others
- Restorative Justice session is scheduled (Participating is your choice and options will be discussed)
- The Restorative Justice Agreement is monitored by the caseworker
- If the agreement is successfully complete, then the RJ file is closed successfully.
- If terms of agreement are NOT met, the file will be closed as unsuccessful and the file will be returned to referral source.
Who can be referred to Restorative Justice?
Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 can be referred to the Nova Scotia Restorative Justice Program.
Since November 2016, we have partnered with Correctional Services and Adults can now be refrerred to
Restorative Justice as well. Individuals MUST meet seven minimum requirements to be eligible to be referred.
How is a referral made to Restorative Justice?
We can receive referrals from 4 sources:
- Police Officer
- Crown Attorney
- Correctional Services or Victims’ Services
Once a referral is made to Restorative Justice, we will send out a letter acknowledging receipt of referral.
What is a Restorative Justice pre-session for the person who caused harm?
A pre- session for teh person who caused harm is a confidential meeting which takes place after the caseworker
receives a Restorative Justice (RJ) referral. A pre-session is an opportunity for individuals
and their supporter(s) to meet with the caseworker and have a discussion about the referral.
During this private pre-session, the caseworker will:
- Explain the Restorative Justice process to the reffered person
- Gather information about what happened
- Talk about who has been affected by what happened
- Help to think about who would be important to be part of the Restorative Justice session
- Talk about accountability, responsibility and victim empathy
- Talk about what can be done to make things right
- Talk about community resources available
**IF they have taken responsibility for what happened and have agreed to move forward and take part in a Restorative Justice
session, we will then schedule a pre-session for the victim.
If the youth chose not to take responsibility, the referral would be sent back to referral source for further action.
What is a Restorative Pre-session for the victim?
After the referred person met with the caseworker for one or more pre-sessions and agreed to take responsibility for their
actions, a pre-session for the victim is scheduled. The pre-session for the victim is an opportunity for you to have a private
meeting with the caseworker to discuss the Restorative Justice referral.
During this private pre-session, the caseworker will:
- Explain the Restorative Justice referral
- Discuss how you have have been affected by the incident
- Discuss options for Restorative Justice session : Identifying
- a victim representative to take your place, writing a letter, not taking part at all)
- Discuss expectations for the Restorative Justice process
- Discuss community resources that may be helpful for victims and families
- Discuss who would be important to take part in the RJ session
After the pre-session for youth and the pre-session for victims are complete, what happens next?
The caseworker takes the information gathered from the pre-sessions and begins planning a Restorative Justice (RJ) session.
The RJ session is when all identified participants affected by the incident come together face-to face for a group meeting.
Again, your participation is voluntary. If you chose to participate, working around your schedule will be a priority.
Your caseworker will phone you and follow-up by sending you a letter confirming the date and time of the RJ session.
Who can be part of the Restorative Justice session?
During the Restorative pre-sessions, the youth would have discussed who they will bring to the RJ session as a supportive adult. During the victim pre-session, you may have identified supporters you wish to have present as well. Additional people who may be beneficial to the RJ session may also be invited. All participants of Restorative Justice sessions would be identified to you prior to the session. We would ensure that you feel comfortable and safe with all participants invited.
What happens at the Restorative Justice session?
Everyone will have an opportunity to share their perspective (story) about what happened.
This is the Face-To-Face Meeting To:
- Talk about what happened
- Identify what steps are needed to make things better
- Come up with an agreement that will be signed by all RJ participants
What are some possible agreement terms that are developed in the Restorative Justice session?
Every Restorative Justice agreement will look different. This is an individualized process.
Some agreements have one term listed while others have several terms.
Some examples of some RJ agreement terns in the past have been:
- Restitution ( paying back money)
- Anger management
- Personal Service work for Victim
- Verbal apology/ Written apology
- Referral to a local organization
( Addictions Services, Mental Health, Split Rock Learning Center, Driver Enhancement Officer,Fire Marshall, Community Services, SHYFT)
- Completing a research paper
- Creative Assignements
- Community Service Work
How much time will the youth be given to complete the terms in the RJ agreement?
The RJ session participants will decide on a fair completion date. The completion date will be clearly listed on the RJ
agreement. Your caseworker will be calling the youth regularly to make sure the terms of the agreement are met.
If youth are having trouble with any part of the agreement, they are encouraged to call the caseworker right away to discuss.
Tri-County Restorative Justice priortizes the needs of Victims:
RESPECT - victims need to feel that what they have to offer is important and must feel respected by all participants in the Restorative Justice Process. Restorative Justice facilitators make sure that victims are treated fairly & respectfully during the entire process.
SAFETY - victims need to feel safe during the entire Restorative Justice Process. Without trust in the process or in the people involved they will not share their stories and may fear re-victimization. Restorative Justice facilitators ensure a safe environment for everyone involved in the process.
VOICE - all victims have a story of how they feel and how they have been affected by the harm. They need to have their voices heard. Hearing the victims' stories allows for a better understanding of what they have experienced, fear, financial hardship, anger, etc. With their perspective we can come up with meaningful outcomes to the process.
INFORMATION - Victims have a need to know the details of what happened and also have their questions answered. Victims can ask questions directly to the youth who caused them harm. They also need to have a clear understanding of the entire process and what that looks like from start to finish.
REPARATION - victims are entitled to fair compensation By being involved in the Restorative Justice process victims are assured that the outcomes will be relevant and meaningful for them.