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Police Partnerships

Communities for Restorative Justice partners with regional police departments for referrals. Each police chief understands restorative justice, its aims and process. Beyond that, each department sets its own referral criteria. Police officers receive ongoing training, provide meeting space, participate in the “circle” process, and coordinate with C4RJ personnel throughout each case.

Our participating police departments seek out the restorative justice option as a means of:

  • responding to the needs of victims who seek a voice in the justice process
  • providing an intermediate response between letting someone “off the hook” for wrongdoing and launching full criminal prosecution
  • retaining police officer involvement in cases to hold people accountable constructively
  • strengthening police relationships within their communities

Police departments don’t lose control of cases after the referral. Here are the levels of police involvement at C4RJ:

  • Police officers consult with staff on referrals
  • Police officers sit in on Opening and Closing circles which take place at the referring department (unless the victim prefers another venue)
  • A Police Chief sits on the C4RJ board
  • All volunteers are CORI-checked and volunteer candidates can be vetoed by respective Police Chiefs
  • A quarterly Police Council convenes to discuss C4RJ policy and practice
  • C4RJ staff periodically report back to Police Chiefs on cases to track trends
  • Cases can be sent back to the department if the victim is unsatisfied with the process, if the offender is not taking responsibility, or if the safety/wellbeing of the parties cannot be guaranteed.

C4RJ Co-founder Chief Len Wetherbee and Det. Keith Campbell (Acton PD) are interviewed in the following video clip about restorative justice and where/how it fits in their police work. The interviews are part of a longer piece called "Finding Courage: Addressing Harm with Restorative Justice Circles" with other clips also available on YouTube.



Also, click here to watch a great interview with a Colorado officer familiar with with restorative justice. He speaks to how valuable it is in his work.





While conversations are always underway with new communities, C4RJ currently partners with the following:

If you would like to learn more about how to partner your police department with C4RJ, contact the executive director here.

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