Restorative Conferences

Involves: Harmed Party, Responsible Party, Support People (optional)

Restorative Conferencing offers people who have caused harm and those they have harmed a voluntary opportunity to meet face-to-face in a structured, secure environment. These conversations are facilitated with the goal of restoration, healing, reconciliation, mutual understanding and/or to negotiate restitution. Both parties have the option to invite support people into the conversation. The facilitators guide the conversation to:

  • Help outline how parties have been affected - the harms, needs, and obligations of all involved
  • Build toward shared understanding of the situation
  • Provide opportunities for healing and accountability
  • Guide the creation of a plan to make things right to the greatest extent possible

Potential Benefits for Harmed Parties

  • Describe to the person who caused the harm how the incident affected them and continues to affect them
  • Directly and constructively express their feelings to the person who harmed them
  • Ask questions and receive answers that only the responsible party can provide
  • Experience a sense of empowerment by having a direct voice in the justice process
  • Have active involvement in crafting appropriate restitution/solutions
  • Experience some degree of emotional healing and restoration

Potential Benefits for Responsible Parties

  • More fully understand the impact of their actions upon the lives of those harmed, the community and themselves
  • Explain their involvement in the offense, and share their perspective
  • Take direct and meaningful accountability
  • Have a voice and participate in a just process
  • Participate in crafting a resolution which creates a path to make things right to the greatest extent possible

Potential Benefits for Community

  • Respond to the needs of those harmed
  • Support responsible party while encouraging them to understand, accept and carry out their obligations
  • Increases community cohesion and safety by encouraging meaningful accountability