Restorative Justice pioneer Howard Zehr visited C4RJ and shared his photography exhibits: "When a Parent is in Prison" and "Ladder Without Rungs," featuring portraits and stories of children of prisoners and victims of severe violence, respectively (right).

You’ve Been Affected by a Crime: Now What?

It’s perfectly normal to want to know why the incident occurred and whether you were personally targeted. The circle process allows you to explore these questions.

The police may have said that the case may be referred to C4RJ. They say 'may' because three pieces have to be in place:

  • Those facing charges for the crime must take responsibility. If they’re disputing the charges, the case will likely go to court.
  • You are given a chance to consider a restorative justice referral and whether it will serve your needs. We’d be happy to talk with you more about the option, but if you would rather go to court — for whatever reason — you can veto the referral to this program by telling the responding police officer your wishes.
  • Together with the police department, we must be able to ensure the safety of all parties — especially you. If we have a concern about the well-being of anyone involved in the case, we may advise that the case not be referred.

If these criteria have been satisfied, we will gladly accept the case and be in touch with you. Read on to learn about each step in the process.

“I went from being a skeptic . . . to thinking it's a win-win.”

This brief video clip is an interview with a victim, Hussein, who went through the process some years ago. He offered his story here as a way to give strength and insight to others considering this option. His interview is part of a longer piece called "Finding Courage: Addressing Harm with Restorative Justice Circles" also available on YouTube.