Restorative Dialogue

 Restorative Justice is a compass not a map. The principles of restorative justice can be seen as a compass pointing a direction. - Howard Zehr

Restorative Dialogue is a different way of perceiving and approaching crime and punishment. It is a process where a person who has been harmed (victim) and the person responsible (offender), agree to meet in a safe and controlled environment with trained Restorative Justice Facilitators to:

  • discuss what happened and the effects on all involved;
  • allow the offender to accept responsibility for the offence;
  • identify ways to restore the harm caused by the offender’s behaviour and action, and;
  • reach an agreement for the offender to address the consequences of his/her behaviour and actions.

Restorative Dialogue enables the victim, the offender and affected members of the community to be directly involved and respond to the crime.


Who attends a Restorative Dialogue?

  1. The victim or someone representing the victim.
  1. The offender.
  1. Two Restorative Justice Facilitators.
  1. Family members and/or people to support the victim and offender.
  1. Victim or offender supports, depending on the Restorative Dialogue model used, that could attend, might include professionals who work with the victim or offender.

How MRJC Initiates Restorative Justice Dialogues

Prior to a Restorative Dialogue, MRJC’s team of Restorative Justice Facilitators will meet with the offender and their supports to provide information on the process, and to assess whether a conference is appropriate.  If so, the Restorative Justice Facilitators will next meet with the victim and their supports and provide them with information on the process.  If the process is appropriate, and if the victim is comfortable to meet the offender in a safe and controlled environment with trained Restorative Justice Facilitators, a Restorative Dialogue will be scheduled.

Participating in a Restorative Dialogue is Completely Voluntary

Either the victim or offender can choose whether or not to participate in a Restorative Dialogue.  Either party may opt out or take some ‘time out’ at any stage during the process.  Any complaints or concerns about the process, at any stage, can be shared with either Restorative Justice Facilitator.


In order to proceed with a Restorative Dialogue, the offender (person causing harm) must have openly admitted and assumed responsibility for their actions.

Restorative Justice Facilitator team has separate, private Consultation Meetings with the offender, and with the victim, prior to a Restorative Dialogue.


MRJC’s staff and Restorative Justice Facilitators have been trained in many types of restorative justice process including victim-offender dialogue, peacekeeping circles, community conferencing and non-violent communication. Following the initial Consultation Meetings with the victim and offender, and their respective supports, MRJC’s Restorative Justice Facilitator team selects a process or combination of processes that will best serve the Restorative Dialogue and the personalities of all involved.  

To find out more about MRJC’a Restorative Dialogue process, contact us at 780-423-0896 or Request Services here.