The Bedford Lyceum presents an interesting and important program from 9 to 9:50 am on Sunday,January 24: “Restorative Justice, Where Real Understanding = Real Healing” with Erin Freeborn, Executive Director of C4RJ, and Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno.
Freeborn will speak about this community-police partnership that offers restorative justice to those affected by crime, and Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno will speak about the importance of C4RJ to the Town of Bedford.Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) is a community-police partnership that offers a restorative justice process that responds to crime in ways that heal, hold accountable, and put right.
C4RJ hosts a “circle” where the victim, offender and members of the community come together to discuss the full impact of an event and collaboratively create a repair plan. This allows a victim to receive repair and an offender to be held accountable without a permanent mark on his or her criminal record. C4RJ, established in 2000, has been working with the Bedford police department since 2011.
The organization seeks to provide regional communities with a complement to the traditional judicial system wherein:
- Victims of crime are given the opportunity to address the person(s) who have harmed them, to ask questions in a safe environment, and to share ideas on ways that the harm can be repaired.
- Offenders better understand the impact of their actions, are held accountable, and encouraged to make amends to those they have harmed.
- The community offers support for the process, strengthening community connections, and engaging in matters of concern to its members.
Restorative justice works to build understanding, repair trust and increase feelings of public safety, but most importantly, it recognizes that crime is not just a violation of law but is a violation of people and relationships.
To learn more about C4RJ, visit their website www.c4rj.com/