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Restorative Justice Ministries
WHAT IS RJM?
“The people at CoSA give their hearts to show us that we are valuable human beings. Until we believe that about ourselves, we will not behave in a manner as such.” - CoSA participant
Restorative Justice Ministries (RJM) is a group of ministries under the auspices of Mennonite Central Committee Alberta (MCCA). We work in conjunction with volunteers and churches of various denominations to provide an opportunity for individuals to bring healing and restoration to the community, particularly to those whose lives have been directly affected by crime.
Staff members work with volunteers to train and support them as they visit and form friendships with those in federal prisons. Friendships and encouragement are also extended to former prisoners as they integrate into the community.
HOW DO WE ACCOMPLISH THIS?
We have a variety of programs across Alberta, including:
M2/W2 (Man-to-man, Woman-to- Woman): Volunteers make monthly visits to form one-on-one relationships with federally sentenced offenders in Bowden, Drumheller and Edmonton Institutions.
Community Chaplaincy: Churches and individual volunteers participate with the Community Chaplain to offer support to ex-prisoners in the Calgary community.
Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) : Groups of four to seven volunteers enter into a covenant relationship of mutual encouragement and accountability with released high-risk offenders for the benefit of the community and the ex-offender.
Victim Support: We are able to assist victims of crime with resources available through MCC.
WHO SUPPORTS RJM?
RJM is a program of MCC Alberta. We receive donations from churches and individuals, as well as some government grants from the Correctional Service of Canada for CoSA and Community Chaplaincy.
WHAT IS RJM’S APPROACH TO JUSTICE?
We believe that true justice is restorative rather than retributive. This means that, when a crime occurs, it affects the victim, the offender, and the entire community. Therefore, we all need to be involved in seeking creative and personal ways to transform pain and heal wounds.
From various sources, we learn that
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?
Restorative justice is not an easy way out. It requires ongoing passion, commitment, determination, knowledge, and community and justice system partnerships. These contribute to working toward empathy, forgiveness and healing.
There are times when people need to be incarcerated for the protection of the community. Prisoners should be provided with programs and opportunities to accept responsibility for their actions and to acquire skills to function in society.
The relationships that our volunteers make with present and former prisoners can provide them with a sense of care and hope, as well as a model of a wholesome approach to life.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED WITH THE WORK OF RJM?
We have opportunities for volunteers in all our ministries, as well as administration and Advisory Committee involvement.
We can only move forward with your prayers, participation, and financial support.
To learn more about RJM and how you can make a difference with us, please contact: