Giving everyone involved a chance to rewrite their story - the crime, harm caused and the experience.
Project Rewrite is a restorative justice program inviting participants to rewrite their story. It gives an opportunity for those harmed and those who cause harm to take responsibility in the aftermath of a crime.
Restorative Justice is a values-based approach to crime that shifts from the typical legal system’s focus on the person responsible to focus on the victim. For the past 30 years, the Canadian Justice System has been implementing Restorative Justice Programs (using restorative practices) as an alternative to the current punitive justice system.
The program offers a route to understanding and compassion where both parties are involved to determine the outcome and name the harm caused. It’s a chance for those responsible to accept their actions and communal consequences are determined.
Not easier, but healthier.
Research shows Restorative Justice programs result in reduced frequency and severity of offending and victimization. Project Rewrite allows for a tailored, timely and proportionate response for crime. Partnering with the Chestermere RCMP the program will help the community to create safe spaces where relationships are built, decisions are made and conflict is resolved.
Living in harmony with each other.
Relationship: The aim is to help repair the harm done to all relationships, giving the harmer a safe space to take responsibility and make amends.
Respect: Allows for a safe experience for everyone involved in the Restorative Justice process. Involves listening to the other person’s perspective, whether we agree with it, and behaving in a way that allows the process to play out safely for everyone.
Responsibility: Taking responsibility for your part in the harm if there is any. Each party must be honest with themselves and look deeply to see if they did have a part in the incident, even if they were the harmed person.
Repair: Perpetrator is supposed to repair as much harm as they can, whilst still acknowledging that it may not all be able to be repaired. The repair carried out by the harmer should be able to resolve feelings of anger and revenge from the harmed and help the harmer to regain feelings of respect for both them and others.
Reintegration: This final principle refers to how the community should allow the harmer to accept their part in the harm and reintegrate back into that community with trust.
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Restorative Justice has a history in Canada coming out of Indigenous traditions. Centered in the value of living in harmony with all things these practices were developed by Indigenous peoples. The Cree word “Wetaskiwin” refers to people coming together and living in harmony with each other and all things. The goal of restorative justice is to identify harm that has been caused, promote healing and create resilience for long term safety and well-being.
Studies have proven that offenders who take responsibility for their actions in front of their victims are 80% less likely to reoffend within the first two years of completing the program (Alberta Department of Justice 2016). Additionally, victims who have the chance to be a part of the process are more likely to feel justice was served and less likely to have long term effects of the crime on their lives. This creates Wetaskiwin.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
We’re just getting started. Project Rewrite is not only just a restorative justice program for only those who will use the program. Project Rewrite is also about helping create restorative people in our city. What does that look like? Training volunteers, talking with organizations and partnering with leaders in our city to share the practices and challenge all to work towards harmony.
We believe restorative people are:
● Paying attention to the stories present in the community
● Compassionate, empathic, and have a desire for harmony
● Level-headed and have a heart to ensure all are heard
● Aware and able to recognize a power imbalance
● Creators of spaces for healthy discussions
HOW WILL YOU BE A RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PERSON?
Do you resonate with the characteristics of being a restorative person? Project Rewrite is creating a small volunteer team to participate in Restorative Justice cases.
If you are a restorative person we’d love to have you join us.
3 ways to get involved
Volunteer - join our team of volunteers.
Request a presentation on using Restorative Justice for your organization or school.
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Generously Funded By:
City of Chestermere Peace Officers
CONNECT ON RESTORATIVE JUSTICE
Project Rewrite Facilitator
Restorative Justice in Chestermere, Langdon and Southeast Rockyview
Synergy Youth and Community Development Society