Restorative communities are dedicated to social justice in action by cultivating fellowship and connection with people in transition. Restorative communities counter people’s experience of isolation and alienation by building a trusting, safe space where all participants have a voice and a role, and where our shared humanity as well as our struggles and achievements are recognized.
Restorative practice in communities resolves conflicts and disputes before they escalate into crime and is an effective approach to dealing with antisocial behaviour and neighbour disputes.
It enables people to understand the impact of their behaviour on others. It delivers effective outcomes owned by the local community and creates stable, positive community environments.
Restorative approaches in communities incorporate a range of models including community mediation, police and community support officers using restorative skills on the street and neighbourhood justice panels – an innovative, community-based delivery model being used across England and Wales.
Neighbourhood justice panels are a form of restorative justice conferencing that involves trained volunteers from a local community facilitating meetings between victims and offenders for low level crime and antisocial behaviour.
Referrals can come from police, local authorities and housing associations, among other agencies.
Restorative practice can be used to build strong communities and to ensure that disputes and disagreements are dealt with positively and constructively.
It can contribute to lower levels of crime and disorder and give communities an active role in resolving disputes where they do emerge.
Restorative Dialogues & Community Conferencing
- Restorative Dialogues are for any group or individuals desiring a restorative approach to handling conflict or harm, including family, community or work-based conflict. Community Conferencing is a process for addressing crime or misbehavior.
- A Restorative Dialogue or Conference involves meeting together with individuals directly involved in a conflict or issue. A trained facilitator will guide the discussion with a focus on addressing the harm that occurred and repairing the relationships that were hurt.
- Funding: This is a fee-based program but we want to make sure it is available to anyone who needs it. By using a “pay-what-you-can” model, we give participants the opportunity to either 1) pay the cost of their conference in full, 2) pay a reduced cost, or 3) pay their own cost plus contribute extra to provide the service for another group that cannot afford it. We also encourage the exchange of time banking credits for those who are not able to provide the full financial payment.
Community & Police Relations
- They organize community circles for residents to share their thoughts, ideas and concerns for developing a community-based response to justice and conflict.
- They will be expanding the discussion to include law enforcement in an effort to collaborate on shared goals & experiences
- Discussion from the community circles will inform the development of circle discussions for law enforcement regarding resident concerns regarding cultural competency, bias and equity,
- They are currently working in specific neighborhoods in East Winston as part of the United Way Place Matters Initiative
- Funding: United Way & local in-kind donations for space & food
Restorative Justice Practices, deeply rooted in ancient traditions from around the world, support developing healthy communities by building, maintaining, and repairing relationships. These practices are based on the principle of holding all members of a community in a context of high accountability and high support. When harm occurs, people responsible for the harm, impacted parties, and community members can gather in a face-to-face dialogue to address the harm, provide a space to build trust, recognize our shared humanity, and start the healing process.
NCRC works at all levels of the restorative justice spectrum of building, maintaining and repairing relationships. We work collaboratively with school districts, support community dialogue, train circle facilitators in diverse settings including undergraduate students on a university campus and inmates within the jail system, and hold restorative community conferences as an alternative to the juvenile justice system.