Restorative dialogue is a voluntary process that provides victims of crime, the youth that harmed them, and any other impacted stakeholders and community members, an opportunity to meet face to face, in a facilitated dialogue.
The dialogue provides space for victims to find out what happened, explain the impact of the crime, and together, with the youth and community, determine how the youth will take responsibility and make amends to the extent possible.
- is a voluntary process for all participants
- brings together people impacted by crime
- provides victims the opportunity to ask questions and build an understanding of what happened
- creates a space for impacted parties to define what accountability looks like
- empowers stakeholders to identify and agree on solutions
- provides an avenue to establish meaningful accountability through addressing and repairing harm
- provides an opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard
- offers support for all participants
What’s in it for me?
- Explain how the crime has impacted your life
- Get answers to your questions about the offense that only the youth can provide
- Allow the youth to see you as human
- Process your fears about the youth and future danger
- Increase the likelihood that restitution will actually be paid
- Be directly involved in how the youth is held accountable for his or her crime
- Help make positive change
- Tell your story and be heard
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Have the opportunity to make amends for what you did wrong, instead of just being punished for it
- Be directly involved in creating an agreement that can address how to make things as right as possible
- Lessen the impacts of crime on the community by increasing restoration of losses
- Reduce the incidents of repeat crime by helping offenders understand how they have hurt someone
- Increase the experience of justice in the community
Who are the facilitators?
The facilitators are volunteers from the community who have attended a specialized training which focuses on the dialogue process and working with victims and offenders.
The facilitators’ role is to prepare both the victim and the offender independently for the face to face meeting and to facilitate the face to face meeting while ensuring a respectful process for participants.
What if a face to face meeting isn’t appropriate?
Sometimes a face to face dialogue isn’t appropriate or possible for participants. Restorative dialogue facilitators will work with participants to explore other means in which their needs can be met when and if a dialogue isn’t possible.