Restorative Justice International (RJI)

RJI is a national and global criminal justice reform association and network with over 5900 members and affiliates (to date) advocating for the expansion of victims-driven restorative justice. Victims-driven restorative justice is a new vision for systemic reform of our justice systems which puts the needs of crime victims first while stressing offender accountability. Restorative justice recognizes that crime is not a crime against the state but a crime against a victim, a real person. Restorative justice principles must guide all needed reforms of the criminal justice system.

Lisa Rea, RJI’s president and founder, is a national and international restorative justice expert with 20 years’ experience in the field with a deep background in public policy and legislative advocacy. RJI’s Global Advisory Council (GAC) is comprised of influential and esteemed global leaders in restorative justice, justice reform and human rights efforts.

Since 2001 through The Justice & Reconciliation Project (JRP), Ms. Rea’s work has focused on bringing restorative justice to victims of violent crime nationally. Now RJI leads an effort to expand and implement the use of victims-driven restorative justice nationally and globally putting victims in the center of the justice system, seeking restoration of victims, as much as possible, as well as communities, while stressing offender accountability.

RJI is a central hub where lawmakers, nonprofits, universities, crime victims, businesses, government agencies, ex-offenders, people of faith and all those interested in justice reform can share information about restorative justice and learn about the best practices worldwide. RJI’s focus is to educate and advocate for restorative justice on the cutting edge.  We know that every day in the field of restorative justice new ways of expanding its use occurs globally. We support public policies that promote victims-driven restorative justice stressing the need to restore the victim, as much as possible, and communities also injured by crime. Restorative justice urges offenders to take responsibility for their actions, as directly as possible, since through offender accountability real rehabilitation occurs and the likelihood of a successive re-entry increases once an offender is released. RJI is in support of in-custody restorative justice programming and open doors for direct victim-offender dialogue which is beneficial to both victims and offenders.

Our Global Advisory Council (GAC) includes the following esteemed members. We thank each one for their contribution and service to RJI.

Helen Bowen, lawyer, youth advocate, restorative justice consultant, Trustee at Restorative Justice Trust (Waimauku, New Zealand)

Jo Berry, Founder, Building Bridges For Peace, victim of violent crime (UK) http://www.buildingbridgesforpeace.org/

Peter B. Collins, veteran radio host, producer and podcaster; Owner of Collins Media Services (California, U.S.)

Ray and Vi Donovan, Chris Donovan Trust, victims of violent crime (UK) http://chrisdonovantrust.org

Martin Howard, Art Director in the corporate sector and facilitator for Sycamore Tree Project (Queensland, Australia) www.martinhoward.info

Dr. Don John Omale, Professor, Restorative Justice & Victimology, Federal University Wukari, Taraba State Nigeria (Nigeria)

Dr. Sandro Calvani, Senior Advisor on Strategic Planning, The Mae Fah Luang Foundation; Former Director, United Nations Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)  (Bangkok, Thailand) http://www.sandrocalvani.it

Jonathan Peter Clayton, Executive Director & Pastor, ex-offender, Hope Prison Ministry (Cape Town, South Africa)

Virginia Domingo de la Fuente, Sociedad Cientifica de Justicia Restaurativa (Burgos, Spain) http://www.justiciarestaurativa.es/

Dr. Paul McCold, Research Criminologist specializing in restorative justice, international restorative justice expert  (California, U.S.)

John Ngabo, Pastor, La Fraternite Evangelique des Prisons, restorative justice expert (Kigali, Rwanda)

Bill Pelke, Co-founder, Journey of Hope: From Violence to  Healing, victim of violent crime (Alaska, U.S.) https://www.journeyofhope.org/who-we-are/

Restorative justice can be applied to any kind of crime: nonviolent and violent. The principles apply to juvenile and adult offenders alike. While victim offender dialogue (or family group conferencing) is to RJI the “gold standard” reflecting restorative justice principles there are many processes that can be instituted into our justice system that reflect  restorative justice. But for justice reform to be “restorative” crime victims must be in the center of the process or processes.

RJI’s presence on social media and through our RJI podcast series continues to draw diverse attention and support from those interested and committed to justice reform and prison reform from around globe. At our social media hubs discussions are moderated by RJI. Sometimes those conversations are sensitive and controversial as we discuss justice reform vis a vis restorative justice principles. RJI also seeks to educate those who are trying to learn about victims-driven restorative justice and its use around the globe. Our online dialogue is impacting the national and global debate about crime and its effects while laying the groundwork for the expansion of restorative justice as a means of systemic criminal justice reform.  RJI stresses the need for justice reform based on a vision that only restorative justice provides.

RJI’s membership represents some of the following countries: United Kingdom, Rwanda, India, United States, Australia, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Ireland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Thailand, South Africa, Greece, Malta, Zimbabwe, Finland and others. See our  affiliate members listed on this website. Join us!

 

Our mission and goals are the following:

1. Expand RJI’s global network worldwide

a) work globally, nationally and locally to build support for victims-driven restorative justice;

b) host gatherings (including online), symposiums and panels to educate new members, prospective members, public officials, the public and the media;

c) provide training through webinars, podcasts and on-site events

2. Highlight the work of RJI Affiliates who are doing restorative justice around the world and provide opportunities to tell their stories through the media/press and social media

3. Develop public policy models and legislation to expand the use of victims-driven restorative justice

a) provide analysis of legislative proposals or existing statutes related to justice reform and restorative justice

b) disseminate and make available analyses on key public policy proposals;

4. Partner with others to launch pilot projects and model programs to test new restorative justice approaches;

5. Support evidence-based research in the field

a) partner with those doing the research, and b) disseminate the research conducted;

6. Conduct training on victims-driven restorative justice including educating members, supporters and the public on lobbying effectively on restorative justice;

a) recruit legislative advocates (i.e. lobbyists) and provide training to make them more effective in making the case for victims-driven restorative justice

b) provide guidance to advocates

7. Recruit and educate victims of violent crime to support the work of RJI.

a) urge victims to tell their stories and assist in providing a platform for them to speak out

b) host crime victim panels on restorative justice;

8.  Create and expand a legislative network inside RJI composed of:

a) grassroots supporters of RJI around the globe;

b) key contacts who support RJI’s goals and have access to key public officials, correctional officials, etc.

9. Create media opportunities to provide visibility through the use of film, television, radio, online social media venues.

10. Speak nationally and internationally on the work of RJI.

11. Examine and speak out on wrongful convictions. Work with those who have been wrongfully convicted and seek to right the wrong of wrongful convictions. Restorative justice applies to miscarriages of justice since the real offender has not been found in such cases while an innocent person is doing time for a crime he has not committed. No victim of violence wants to see an innocent person in prison or on death row for a crime he did not commit.

 

Join us as an Affiliate Member at the website (see tab under Join Us) or choose to contribute directly to RJI.  You can also suggest a way of partnering with RJI in new and creative ways. We think big!

 

Lisa Rea
Restorative Justice International (RJI)
http://restorativejusticeinternational.com 

Find us at LinkedIn.com and Facebook.com

 

Special thanks to Martin Howard (Australia) for his web design assistance and podcast support.   www.martinhoward.info

We also appreciate the support we have received from Peter B. Collins of Collins Media Service (California, U.S.) in assisting with our video and podcast production.  https://www.peterbcollins.com/about/