Restorative Justice Community Conferencing Program

(Scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2007)
The Genesee County Community Conferencing Program is a collaboration between Genesee Justice and the Child and Family Services Center for Resolution and Justice

Community Conferencing is an alternative to the traditional criminal court system for eligible non-violent cases. Community Conferencing relies upon the principles of restorative justice including:

  • Answering the needs of the victim and community members affected by the crime
  • Giving victims and community members a say in how the harm should be repaired
  • Holding offenders personally accountable to the victim of an offense

The community conferencing program is an opportunity for both victims and the community to speak directly to an offender in order to express their collective concern and to hold the offender directly accountable for the harm created. The conference focuses on three stages:

  • Discussing what happened
  • Discussing the impact on the three stakeholders (Victim, Offender, Community)
  • Determining how to repair the harm

Along with a trained facilitator; victims, offenders, and community members come up with a written agreement of how the harm, can be repaired.

Program Process

  • Appropriateness of the case will be decided by the District Attorney, Public Defender, and CCP staff.
  • Both victims and offenders must be willing to participate.
  • Cases accepted into the program will be given to a conference facilitator who will handle the case.
  • The facilitator will contact both the victim and offender separately to explain the community conferencing program and set up a date for the conference.
  • The victim, offender, facilitator, and community members come together to discuss:
    • the facts of the case
    • the harm created and;
    • how to repair the harm
  • All participants will come to an agreement of how to repair the harm.
  • All participants sign the agreement.
  • The offender must comply with all conditions of the agreement. Compliance is monitored by the CCP coordinator.
  • Any agreement not completed by the offender within the scheduled period of time will be referred back to the court.

Benefits for victims
The community conferencing program gives victims the opportunity to:

  • Express anger and pain directly to the person responsible
  • Receive answers to their questions about the crime
  • Tell their story
  • Receive restitution for damages and loses
  • See remorse in the offender
  • Feel more powerful and in control of their life
  • Experience a greater sense of closure

Benefits for offenders
The community conferencing program gives offenders the opportunity to:

  • Take responsibility for the crime they committed
  • See the human costs of his/her crime
  • Have a say in how to repair the harm
  • Experience a greater sense of closure

Benefits for the community
The community conferencing program gives the community the opportunity to:

  • Feel a greater sense of connectedness between community members
  • Be involved in problem solving instead of relying only on the criminal justice system for solutions
  • Decrease the fear of crime

Seven Values of Restorative Justice

  • Crime is an offense against human relationships
  • The result of a crime is that harm is done to the victim and the community
  • The first priority of the justice process is to assist the victim
  • The second priority of the justice process is to restore the community to the degree possible
  • The offender has personal responsibility to victims and the community for the crime he/she committed
  • The offender will develop improved competencies and understanding as a result of the Restorative Justice experience
  • Stakeholders share responsibility for Restorative Justice through partnerships for action

For more information regarding the Genesee County Community Conferencing Program contact:

Community Conferencing Program Coordinator
Genesee Justice
10 Ellicott St.
Batavia, NY 14020
585-344-2550 ex. 2459

-or-

Cheryl Robinson
Child and Family Services Center for Resolution and Justice
Genesee County Courts Facility
1 West Main St.
Batavia, NY 14020
585-344-2550 ex. 2440

For more information on Restorative Justice Programs in the Finger Lakes region, visit the Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center’s website at: www.restorativejustice.org