Notes from Peace Regional Restorative Justice

China Sieger

China Sieger
Peace Regional Restorative Justice

When Peace Regional Restorative Justice [PRRJ] was just getting started back in the spring of 2015, an invitation to join the Peace Regional RCMP Community Advisory Committee [CAC] was an important step in getting connected to communities around the region.

PRRJ is a non-profit community-based restorative justice program that serves the Peace Region, Fairview, and Manning RCMP detachments. PRRJ works with people impacted by a harmful situation to engage in safe and respectful dialogue to understand what happened, how they are impacted, and what needs to happen to make things right.

Referrals may come from the RCMP, schools, workplaces or the broader community for situations that are both criminal and non-criminal.

Integral to all restorative processes are two things: participation by all parties is voluntary and the person who caused harm accepts responsibility.

The CAC is a citizens’ action and advisory committee that contributes feedback on regional policing priorities that best meet the needs of communities served by the Peace Regional RCMP. Membership is comprised of RCMP, emergency services, municipal government, senior, youth, and community representatives who also initiate and implement crime prevention strategies around the region.

You may have seen speed reader boards at different locations throughout the region or received a Lock It or Lose It flyer on your windshield. This is the work of the CAC.

What these two organizations have in common is their belief that the community plays an integral role in the prevention and response to crime and the harm it inflicts on people and relationships. When community members come together with ideas, resources, and the drive to initiate and implement change, positive outcomes such as reduced crime and more meaningful responses to crime can happen.

Relationships between RCMP, emergency services, municipal governments, and community members are strengthened. With more voices and partners at the table, opportunities for more creative, community-centered, and effective crime prevention strategies increase.

The availability of a restorative justice program is about creating another option for people impacted by crime. Options include the opportunity to meet with the person[s] responsible in a supported environment, engage in safe and respectful dialogue, and come to a resolution that may better meet their needs.

The focus of a restorative dialogue extends beyond what rule or law has been broken, to how people and relationships are impacted by harmful actions and addresses needs for safety, accountability, and repair. Both organizations represent a collective willingness for people to invest time, care, and energy towards matters that impact them.

And crime impacts us all, creating a ripple effect in our families, neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools, and communities.

To learn more about Peace Regional Restorative Justice, find us on Facebook @PRRRJA or contact us at [780] 618-5811 or prrrja@gmail .com.

To learn more about the Peace Regional RCMP Community Advisory Committee contact chair Dave LeBlanc at [780] 618-7666.

The committee is always looking to expand and diversify its membership to more accurately represent the best interests of the community.

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