C4RJ carries out all of our commitments -- both within our organization and in our work in communities -- with C.A.R.E.
Collaboration – We collaborate in all we do both internally between the Board, Executive Director, staff, and volunteers and externally through our circle process and in our partnerships with various stakeholders in the Justice System. We work to bring people together to promote restorative justice whenever possible.
Accountability – We work to promote accountability at all levels within the organization and in executing restorative justice practices. When harm is done, we are responsible to ensure that victims are served in a safe a nd caring way and responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.
Respect – We treat all members of our organization with respect. Through our circle process we promote respectful exchanges and preserve the dignity and humanity of all who are involved
Effectiveness – We are committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure an effective, quality driven process that gives victims a voice, reduces recidivism, holds responsible parties accountable, and increases feelings of public safety in our communities. Our commitment to quality outcomes will direct our decision making process.
Restorative Justice is About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
The concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded within restorative practices, which proceed from the belief that everyone holds a piece of the truth. C4RJ embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as the way to fully realize our values.
Diversity. The quality of the circle is improved by hearing different perspectives flowing from the lived experiences of each participant. In our model, this starts with the victim, offender, police, and community perspectives. So often resolution comes only after each stakeholder shares how the crime affected them.
Equity. Our common humanity is the starting point of restorative practice. People have distinct roles in a circle, none more important than others. The circle process fosters respect for the dignity of all. In a circle, we take turns, listen deeply, and do not interrupt, cultivating trust and promoting fairness.
Inclusion. By their nature, restorative justice circles include parties affected and their views. We work hard to overcome barriers, for example by including interpreters when necessary. The circle as a whole crafts the agreement that will resolve the case, however many rounds of discussion are needed to come to consensus.
How this works at C4RJ
- The board has committed in its strategic plan to increasing diversity throughout the organization. This begins with board recruitment, and continues with hiring practices and intentional volunteer outreach.
- We work with interpreters to remove language barriers.
- We partner with people in the community where a harm took place.
- We provide expert-led training for our volunteers to help them understand the challenges facing our participants, including trauma and mental illness.
- We welcome people with lived experience of the criminal justice system, including returning citizens, to join our volunteer ranks.
- We are appointing a diverse and talented task force to adapt our core curriculum to ensure its age and cultural appropriateness.