How long will I have to come to Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent for my diversion?

The length of your time spent with RJCK fully depends upon you, how much you learn, and how readily you take responsibility for your actions. We want you to succeed, and give you the tools to be able to do just that. Typically you would see the Program Coordinator, Jennifer, for 3 – 5 sessions (of approximately 1 hour in length per session), and then your Restorative Justice Community Conference would be scheduled. After your Conference, you must meet all of the Terms in your Conference Agreement – again, that timeline is up to you. However, an average client is completely done with sessions and Conference Agreement Terms in a three month period; a full diversion case must be completed within six months, at the very most.

What happens if I decide I don’t want to come to Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent for my diversion?

Attending Restorative Justice Chatham-Kent is voluntary – it is a decision that is completely up to the client and his or her parents/guardians. If you decide that RJCK is not for you, your case will be given back to the Chatham-Kent Police Service, and your pending criminal charges will be formally laid, likely leading to a court appearances, and dealing with a judge and/or lawyer. In taking this route, you will no longer have the opportunity of having your youth record cleared (as you would in the diversion program with RJCK). If you are processed through the court system, you will ultimately receive a criminal charge on your youth record – and as youth learn at RJCK, when you turn 18 years old, those youth charges do not just disappear!

While I am going through programming at RJCK about my criminal actions, can we talk about another problem I am having?

While you are with us at RJCK, we will first go through programming around the initial reason you were referred to the Pre-Charge Diversion Program, but while you are here, of course we will assist you in any way we can if you would like to talk about another issue that is bothering you. We have a wide variety of Positive Strides Intervention Programming available, and if your need is beyond what we have available here at RJCK, we can help make the proper referrals to different community agencies, programs, and services.

Will I have to speak at my Restorative Justice Community Conference?

At your scheduled Restorative Justice Community Conference you will be required to speak in front of the circle of people—but don’t worry! Your Program Coordinator, Jennifer, will help prepare you and outline what needs to be said during that Conference. We have had plenty of shy clients who not only spoke, but spoke candidly and sincerely at their Conferences. This process is all part of you ‘righting the wrong’ you committed; taking responsibility for your actions requires that you have to speak at your Conference. After the Conference you will feel SO relieved…but more importantly, you will feel better and proud because you took ownership of your actions, and showed that to all of the individuals present at your Conference.

When my Restorative Justice Community Conference is completed, and my Agreement Terms have been met, can I continue to come to RJCK for programming?

The answer to that: YES! We have a wide range of educational programming modules in our Positive Strides Intervention Programming, and if you want to access that programming following your Restorative Justice Community Conference, you are always more than welcome to do so. We have even had clients return to RJCK for programming several months after completing their Agreement Terms. The door is always open, and we will help youth up until the age of 18 in any way we can. At RJCK, we want to see each and every one of our clients succeed in all aspects of their vibrant life.

Will my parents be told everything that is discussed during our sessions?

No – your conversations with the Program Coordinator are private and confidential; however, should you report concerns where the Program Coordinator becomes concerned for your safety, then the Program Coordinator would have the duty to report. If your parents or teacher/principal request an update, then a discussion about general progress will be had, but specific/personal details about sessions will not be reported.

How many times will I have to meet with the Program Coordinator?

The number of sessions will depend on the Positive Strides program module (topic area) and the youth’s individual learning style and needs. For example, some youth may only meet with the Program Coordinator for 8 sessions to discuss substance abuse, while another youth may require 12 sessions.