The restorative justice circle is used to ensure that everyone in the room has the chance to speak and others are ready to listen. All members of the circle will sit together and come up with a way to repair the harm together. This process ensures that all members in the room are in a place to contribute effectively and ensure their contributions are heard. The circle process is rooted in Indigenous teachings and shared values to achieve outcomes that include community, healing, connection, and collective action.
Whether you are a youth or a harmed party, bringing someone to support you in the circle is very important. If you are a youth, bringing someone like a parent or guardian is best. If you are the victim of a crime, bringing a spouse or friend is best.
Volunteers will meet you at the site of your meeting to support you through the circle.
At the end of the circle the circle keeper will ask the people in the room what they think is necessary in order to make amends and repair the harm done. Please think about this prior to your meeting.
Please expect to be at the site for 1-2.5 hours in order to accommodate the circle process and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to be heard.
Victim involvement in the circle process is not only beneficial for the victim of the crime but also for the youth. Being able to put a face to the harm caused not only allows for a change in perspective but also encourages a greater understanding of the impact of the youth's actions.
Victims can also provide a written letter or statement that can be read in the circle to ensure that their feelings are known and the impact of the youth's actions can be explored further.
More information and resources can be found under "links" on our website.