Upcoming Terrace, B.C. course teaches community justice

Restorative justice involves finding solutions to crimes where the offender and the victim meet in facilitated environment

Cst. Angela Rabut shows a training binder for an upcoming restorative justice seminar being held in Terrace.

Those interested in getting involved in restorative justice are invited to a two-and-a-half day course being offered by the Terrace Restorative Justice Society.

Based on community participation in the legal system, some criminal cases can be referred to restorative justice whereby both victim and offender resolve their problem in a way that can take the form simply of an apology, or community service and payment of money for restitution.

“Court is a strictly punitive way of dealing with crime. Restorative Justice looks more at repairing the harm that has been done,” said Const. Angela Rabut of the Terrace RCMP.

She explains that instead of charging someone with a crime, the restorative justice method brings the offender and the victim together to reach a settlement in a controlled environment led by a trained facilitator, a process independent of the RCMP and court system.

“They come to a resolution as to how the offender can repair the harm they have caused. What’s so nice and key about restorative justice is they have a direct say into what they need the offender to do.”

Overseeing these meetings between victim and offender is a facilitator who maintains control between the parties, which can also include support people such as family and friends of the victim or offender.

“If there is disagreement, the facilitator will guide that conversation back and forth until a resolution is reached,” said Rabut.

The course being offered is the initial training one needs to become a facilitator.

Those who want their full ticket have to do five more forms on top of the initial training session, which means participating in five actual sittings, however, Rabut said that anyone is welcome including those who just want to learn some of the basics of restorative justice.

The course is being held in a building located at the Ksan Society homeless shelter on Hall St. April 29, 30 and May 1.

“This course is free and open to all. Lunch is provided. Seating is limited,” says the release. Those interested in signing up are asked to contact Angela Rabut at the Terrace RCMP detachment at 250-638-7429.