About RJP Maine: Offering programming in midcoast Maine and training statewide!
MISSION / VISION
The Restorative Justice Project Maine promotes justice that is community-based, repairs harm, and creates safety and well-being for all. Our responses to crime and wrongdoing seek renewal and safety for the community, support and healing for victims and accountability and reintegration of the offender.
OUR LEGACY: What we're working for...
- All crimes in Maine are met with a restorative response. Restorative solutions are the norm; punitive solutions are the exception. Victims and communities have a prominent role in repairing harm caused by crime.
- All schools and education institutions in Maine use restorative practices to support learning, build community, and for dealing with conflict and wrongdoing.
- Restorative practices are well understood, used effectively and with fidelity to core values and standards.
- Restorative solutions are widely available: anyone, anywhere, anytime can seek a restorative solution. Sufficient, sustainable resources are dedicated to restorative practices; it is easy to find professionals and volunteers who are able to facilitate restorative responses.
In 2004, a group of community members, centered in Belfast, were called together by retired minister and midcoast retiree, Dick Snyder, to begin to vision what restorative values might look like in a community context. The Sheriff at that time, Scott Story, and members of the Social Action Committee at the local Unitarian Universalist Church, and partners with probation and juvenile corrections conceived of a continuum of prevention, intervention and reintegration programming. They partnered with the local juvenile community corrections officer, Roy Curtis, and together agreed on parameters for referrals to a Community Resolution Team for facilitation, (building off the training that the DOC had brought to Maine in the late 90's). This group recruited and trained volunteers to serve as mentors, harm repair facilitators, and community advocates. Margaret Micolichek was hired as the founding staff member; she initially worked one day a week from her kitchen table and, in short order, she built to full time, rented an office, and applied for Americorps Vista funding. Programming at the Waldo County Jail involved an introductory course in RJ and the opportunity to work with a community mentor; similar efforts took root in Hancock County, Knox County and others. The juvenile Community Resolution efforts organically expanded to adult opportunities as more people were inspired by the benefits of the harm repair process. Schools work, in cooperation with the University of Maine Peace Studies Program, flourished. While there have been many twists and turns over the years, RJP is proud of our grassroots culture and gratefully acknowledges that hundreds, if not thousands, of community members with big hearts and strong minds, have made it possible for this organization to evolve - by showing up for people in their community and believing that, together, we can heal and grow, make communities safer and support the well-being of all people.
Facilitator Training Crew, 2019 - Belfast