“Community is made from conflict as much as from cooperation; the capacity to solve conflict is what gives social relations their sinew. Professionalizing justice ' steals the conflicts,' robbing the community of its ability to face trouble and restore peace. Communities lose their confidence, the capacity, and finally, their inclination to preserve their own order. They instead become consumers of police and court 'services' with the consequences that they largely cease to be communities.”

Nils Christie, 1977. Conflict is Property.

Our Programs

The field of restorative practice is a constantly evolving one and we find more and more situations in which to apply restorative principles – schools, the work place, the larger community, health care, etc. Our core programs are:

Handshake Victims Services

We try to represent victims at the center of our work. We are an ear to listen and can make referrals or problem solve.

Restorative Panels

Comprised of community volunteers, these panels work with pre-adjudicated offenders, those on probation, or people on a pre-charge basis. The key element is the willingness to accept responsibility for the offense.

Offender Re-entry

Resource navigating and case management support for incarcerated offenders re-entering their communities. CoSA – Circles of Support and Accountability are groups of 3-4 community volunteers who “walk with” the offender to ensure adjustment and to avoid re-incarceration. Family Group Conferencing and other services may also be available.

Conflict Resolution

Ranges from mediation services to peacemaking circles to community discussion like the very popular Community Commons.

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