Responses from Restorative Justice Clients:
"Sadly, instead of keeping it [graffiti] on paper and as an art, I was involved in defacing a building, which I deeply regret...Thanks to Restorative Justice who gave me a chance to not have a criminal record. I had a mentor that trusted me and believed in me. We would meet up for coffee and talk. He made me feel at ease and we became friends. I now hold down a full-time job, and I have a girlfriend and a wonderful family who supported me every inch of the way.”
“The seven days after my arrest, I would consider probably the worst week of my life. I was just about to start my third year of schooling and suddenly my whole future had this massive record i didn’t think id have any way of overcoming. I was terrified and lost and honestly had no idea where to even turn to. Restorative justice found and contacted me, and this group of volunteers decided to dedicate their time in giving me a second chance. Not only did i get the opportunity to make up with those I directly affected. Restorative justice also allowed me to give back to the community in a way that directly related to my schooling and hopeful future. Honestly my life is arguably so much better after this entire experience not only career wise but in teaching me how to approach every situation with everyone one else's interests in mind. If you get this opportunity, you'd be crazy not to follow through!”
- April 2019
"I am with the restorative justice program because on [this date], I shoplifted from your store. I took items that did not belong to me to feed my family because I couldn't financially afford to and saw no other options in that moment, and for that I offer my sincerest apology.
This incident has affected my life in multiple ways. It went against all my beliefs and morals. I feel shame and guilt. I'm constantly feeling anxiety [about] how my actions have affected others negatively, including the employees of [the store], my family, and what kind of example this would be setting for my children, and how this incident could affect my ability to find a career. This has affected my relationship with my husband as I have broken his trust and the morals of our family values. My children haven't had a present mother in the past few weeks with my anxiety and guilt surrounding the incident.
I realize my actions have had an effect on [the store], as a store but also personally affects the employees and the Chilliwack community. I understand that theft can affect the store's ability to pay wages to employees as well as affecting the cost of groceries. My actions then in turn affects the entire community's ability to afford to feed their families if grocery costs increase. I have learned how my actions can affect so many others' lives apart from my own. I take away from this incident that it is important to reach out to community services to find ways if in this financial situation again, I will not have to resort to theft."
Responses from Victims:
“I had the unique opportunity to work with Restorative Justice when a young boy threatened the safety of the people in my business through a prank call…I am very thankful for Restorative Justice as if they were not there to facilitate this process, I would not have felt closure on an incident that was disturbing to my business and staff. I also saw how it benefited the boy who was in the wrong be able to learn from his mistake and grow from it, which is truly the best case scenario. All of this was possible because of Restorative Justice and its amazing volunteers. Thank you.”
- November 2017
Responses from Community Placement Providers:
"An opportunity came up to work with Chilliwack Restorative Justice. We had participants that were enthusiastic making every session fun. The Chilliwack Restorative Justice and Youth Advocacy Association were people that had the best interests of everyone involved in the program. Our participants taught us as much as we taught them. Pleased with the time we spent and looking forward to having more participants any time."
- Waterwealth Project