RJOY HOSTS SPECIAL EVENTS and conducts three levels of Restorative Circles. Tier 1 is our Community Building Circle training. This can be the most empowering aspect of Restorative Justice Circle Keeping. It is RJOY’s practice to require those interested in Circle Keeping to know and practice Tier 1 Community Building Circles. This is where community is formed, its where the process is shown. In Tier 1 Circles trust is built. Before moving on to Tier 2 Conflict Circles, RJOY expects proficiency in Tier ! Community Building Circles.
Conflict Circle Training, we call Tier 2 Conflict Circle Training is reserved for responding to a specific problematic situation. Conflict Circles are very intentional and they require planning and great reserve on the part of the Circle facilitator. A Conflict Circle requires participation from all sides of a matter: the victim, the harm doer, and representatives from the community that has been affected.
The GOAL of a Conflict Circle is to arrive at a mutually beneficial outcome that addresses the harm the victim has suffered, explores what unmet needs might the perpetrator have to cause such a harm, there is support for both of these parties and Conflict Circles ask the question, “…what will make the community whole again?” Our current system is punitive, who did the harm, how should they be punished, often the victim is not a party to the resolution.
In Conflict Circles, however, it is important to acknowledge that hurt people hurt people. So not only must the victim find closure but the perpetrator needs support to change in order to not reoffend. Finally, acknowledging that the community has been impacted by the situation supports the victim in knowing they aren’t alone, supports the offender in understanding that their actions breed consequences for an entire community, and allows the collateral impaction of the harm to be expressed and redressed.