What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is a way of dealing with wrongdoing in a constructive way, in the hope that, something positive can result from what has occurred.

When does a Restorative Justice Conference take place?

When wrongdoers have acknowledged some responsibility for what they have done, holding a conference can provide an opportunity for them to meet with the victims and others involved or affected, to explore ways to repair emotional and/or material damage done.

What happens at a Restorative Justice Conference?

In Christchurch, each referral accepted by Restorative Justice Services, has two trained facilitators who hold pre-meetings separately with those wishing to attend the conference. They explain what occurs at a conference and answer any questions about the process.

If a conference is to go ahead they arrange the time and venue to suit the needs of the victim and offender, and the people they invite to attend with them. At conferences, the victims have the opportunity to explain what happened to them and how they have been affected. Offenders have the opportunity to accept responsibility for the impact of their actions. Together they can discuss and decide what needs to be done to help repair the damage.

The facilitators write a report of the conference. For pre-sentence conferences, the Restorative Justice Conference Report is considered by the judge at sentencing.

Will I be safe?

At all times safety of the participants is paramount. If at any time during the conference the situation becomes unsuitable the facilitators will end the conference.

Do I have to take part?

People choose to take part and people can withdraw from the process at any stage.

What does a conference cost?

There is no fee for our services.
We are a community based not for profit, working hard to maintain and develop diverse funding streams.
We are a registered charity, and welcome donations.

What will I get out of the conference?

It gives victims of crime a voice and a chance to say anything they need to say to the person who has harmed them, and to ask any questions they may have about what occurred
It encourages offenders to take responsibility for the impact of their actions
It helps to repair the damage done by criminal or anti-social acts
It fosters practical and helpful resolutions
It fosters community involvement and participation in conferences
It encourages healing and peace through making amends, showing compassion and forgiveness