In January of 2002, two motivated community citizens developed a conceptual frame for what ultimately led to the establishment of Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent, all initially from casual conversation.
On June 4, 2002, a public forum convened with guest speakers present from St. Leonard’s Society of London and Community Justice Circles. On April 1, 2003, the Youth Criminal Justice Act came into effect. Throughout 2003 and 2004, many discussions took place amongst stakeholders with respect to establishing relationships in the community that would promote Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent as a resource to the justice system.
On July 1, 2005, Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent successfully secured a contract with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Youth Justice, Western Region) to provide Youth Justice Conferencing, as an ‘Alternative Measures Program.’ Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent has been successful in attaining several Ontario Trillium Foundation funding grants, and after two years of Community Impact Grants, also became a full Member Agency in the United Way of Chatham-Kent family, in 2008.
With the generous support of our three key funders, the dedication of staff and volunteers, our ambitious vision and mission, and the support of this great community we intend to serve and contribute to a safer and healthier Chatham-Kent for many years to come!
Along with hundreds of satisfied youth clients, family members, victims, and community members…We can also proudly display our success. Data collected during the “After Care Program” (follow-up at six months and one year), allows us to confidently state that 92 – 100% of the youth who complete our Pre-Charge Diversion Program are SUCCESSFUL following their time at Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent. These youth are often excelling in all areas of their life – finishing up their high school career, beginning college, and enjoying part-time jobs. The low rate of recidivism (relapse into criminal or delinquent behaviour), and the encouraging feedback from past clients shows just how impactful our services are for the youth of Chatham-Kent.