We believe that Restorative Justice can provide alternatives to a harmful criminal legal system.
By addressing conflicts within the community, before system contact, Restorative Justice processes can better facilitate the prevention and reparation of harm.
Direct-Action Community-Based Diversion
Our process relies on a number of community referral sources, primarily nonprofit organizations and social service agencies. Our most significant presence is in Lincoln and Lane counties, though our services are also fully accessible virtually. When a client is referred to us, a confidential harm report is created and reviewed to make sure it qualifies for our program. We are interested in addressing eight specific areas of engagement and harms that can be interpreted by criminal code.
A case developer will contact the harm respondent ("offender") and/or impacted party ("victim") to let them know about our Restorative Justice option that can address the specific harms that were experienced. If the party agrees to enter our program, we work toward a restorative dialogue that allows for the formation of reparation agreements. Our process is designed to be adaptable and accommodate the needs of unique conflicts (see diagram below).
Face-to-face encounter is only arranged with the consent of all participants in advance of the dialogue, and is not required for the completion of a diversion program. It is possible to facilitate an accountability process through separate meetings, and impacted parties can still lead reparation agreements that address the needs of all.
Our clients maintain their rights to report a harm to legal authorities, though we believe strong accountability processes can (and do) occur through restorative dialogue and agreement-building that center relationship and community, precluding a dependence on criminal legal systems. If restorative agreements cannot be facilitated for any reason, we will do our best to connect clients with as many useful community resources as possible. Contact us to learn more.