If you’ve been referred to C4RJ, it means that you’ve already taken responsibility for breaking the law. That’s a good start. By participating in this program, you will have a chance to talk about what took place, speak directly with the victims, and work towards repair. Here’s what’s next:
- You’ll receive a mailed referral form from us in the next few days, signed by the police chief. You must sign and send in this form by the stated deadline to opt in or out of the restorative justice option. If you opt out, you won’t hear from us again, and we’ll return the matter to the police and/or district attorney's office. Along with the referral form, you'll also receive registration instructions and a password to our Client Registration portal. As part of your registration, you will be required to pay a participation fee of $250 to cover administrative costs. We can arrange a payment plan and/or a sliding scale for financial hardship.
- If you opt in, C4RJ staff will call to schedule an Intake meeting at the police station. There, we’ll ask about what happened, explain the process in detail, and ask you to formally sign on.
- If you are facing substance-related charges, you will see a counselor in the area who will assess whether your use of substances should be addressed. Costs of these visits will be your obligation.
- C4RJ staff will meet separately with the victims.
- We will notify you of the time and place of the Opening Circle. You should treat this date as if it were a court appearance. This will be the first time you’ll meet with the victim, others affected, community volunteers, and a law enforcement officer. Your family or other supporters will be encouraged to attend as well. It will be safe and respectful, ending with a restorative agreement (letters of apology, restitution, service, etc.) that you help develop and will complete.
- You’ll work on your restorative agreement over a period of several weeks with the support of a C4RJ trained facilitator. During the period of your agreement, you will be meeting regularly, either in person or by phone, with your facilitators. It will be your responsibility to keep these appointments. You are also likely to do some writing in the course of your work with your facilitators. If you have difficulty with time management or with writing, please be candid at your Intake meeting and with your facilitators so that we can make adjustments if necessary. If you have accommodations at school that help with writing and organization, please let us know.
- C4RJ will reconvene the group for a Closing Circle. We’ll review your efforts and what you learned, and ask whether the victims are satisfied. If all is well, we’ll close the matter formally.
All told, the process takes two to three months and remains confidential. Read a case story about how it worked for someone else.