The process begins when a Caseworker meets with the person accused of the crime to assess whether she/he is:
If the accused meets these criteria, s/he is accepted into our voluntary, confidential process where values such as accountability and truth telling are encouraged.
The Caseworker will then contact the victim(s), describe the services and goals of the Program, and invite voluntary participation. If the victim is interested, the case proceeds.
The Program only accepts cases where both victim and accused choose to participate.
Through regular meetings with the accused, the Caseworker will explore the issue of accountability. The accused is also expected to address the underlying causes of his/her criminal behaviour.
The Caseworker also meets regularly with the victim to identify his or her needs while offering information and support. Other affected family or community members may be identified, contacted, and offered support.
The Caseworker facilitates the exchange of information between the parties. This may be done through dialogue with the Caseworker, through letter writing, or through video taped interviews.
As this reparative process evolves, the parties may decide to meet face to face. Each may have a variety of reasons for wishing to meet, including:
If a meeting is held, the format is usually a Circle Conference, which would include the victim(s) and their support people, the offender(s) and their support people, interested community members and two facilitators. Whether there has been a face to face meeting or not, it is possible to collaborate on a Resolution Agreement. If a Resolution Agreement is developed and agreed to by all parties, it is submitted to the court for consideration on the date of sentencing.