Philosophy of Service and Approaches

The Mediation & Restorative Justice Centre (MRJC) and its predecessors (ECMS & EVOMS) have been prominent community-based programs serving the Greater Edmonton Area since 1986.  We maintain our strong community-based philosophy that emphasizes not only dispute resolution, but also community development and empowerment.

To pursue our mission and achieve our goals, MRJC will provide community services that are:


• readily accessible;
• safe;
• confidential;
• supplementary to existing legal and civil systems;
• delivered by trained and skilled volunteers, staff and contractors;
• entered into voluntarily, through request or referral;
• offered in an unbiased and supportive environment, and;
• free or low cost to participants.

MRJC reflects the diversity within our community. We have an on-going, interactive relationship with our community. MRJC believes that we are a reflection of each community we serve, and we embrace the multitude of traditions, customs, and values of that community.

MRJC believes that our organization is a collaboration between volunteers, contractors, staff, the Boards of Directors, supporters (including agencies that refer cases) and the community. The keystone of our service is our consistent effort to develop training, services, systems and protocols that align the most fundamental ethics and underpinnings of mediation and restorative justice with the needs and values of our community.

 

MRJC helps people to have difficult conversations. We encourage community safety through teaching and promoting alternative resolution options and effective communication skills. Our aim is to minimize aggression when resolving conflict and dispute, to address the harm that results from actions.

MRJC believes that conflict is a healthy, natural aspect of community.  When conflict is resolved effectively, there can be many community benefits.  Communication can be improved, misunderstandings can be cleared up and, most importantly, strong and lasting relationships can be built between neighbours, friends, family, youth, co-workers, board members, employees, employers and more.

The Mediation & Restorative Justice Centre is a partner in implementing restorative justice and providing quality service in justice both in a responsive, as well as an inclusive way. MRJC offers a variety of restorative justice practices focused on accountability, as well as individual and collective responsibility.

Restorative Justice (RJ) defines crime, not just as an offence against the laws of the state, but as an act committed against an individual victim and the community.

Restorative Justice responds to crime by focusing on who has been harmed and how they have been affected by crime and not just what law has been broken and who should be punished.

Restorative Justice is a justice of participation: victim, offender and community are all involved. It can, where appropriate, provide an opportunity for all harmed by crime to deal with the harm that they suffer.