(250) 489-8999

Welcome to Cranbrook and District Restorative Justice Society (CDRJS). Although restorative justice has been offered in Cranbrook and District since 2000, CDRJS became a nonprofit society in 2007.

The goal and function of CDRJS is to provide:

  1. Restorative Justice as an alternative to the formal court process.
  2. Public awareness of restorative practices.
  3. Training in restorative measures and certify facilitators
  4. Restorative justice as a conflict resolution process for other ministries and nonprofit organizations.
  5. Support and Administration for the Humanity Network.
  6. Support and Administration for the  Organization Against Racism and Hatred OARH
Benefits of Restorative Justice

The Financial Perspective

In a paper prepared by the Chilliwack Restorative Justice Society and based on the example of a adolescent first-time offender and cost-benefit data from 2001:

Financial Estimate of a Formal Court Process: $2649.50/file (2001) This is a first-time offender,  Category 3 or 4 offence.

  •  This would represent a cost of $3, 579.01 in 2017 according to the Inflation Index – Bank of Canada
  •  For the 12 month period of 2017, CDRJS successfully completed 46 of the 54 files it received.
  •  Using the 2017 adjusted figure of  $3,579.01 for a first-time offender, as reported by Chilliwack Restorative Justice Society, the files for 2017 represent a estimated l savings of $164, 634.46 to the community if those same file had proceeded through a formal court process.

B. Human Potential Perspective

There are three important considerations at play when discussing the benefits of restorative justice:

Victim-Offender Reconciliation

In a restorative justice approach, the victim is involved in the outcome.  The victim explains to the offender how the actions of the offender have had an impact on the victim and have that harm addressed.  The offender has the opportunity to learn how their actions have had an impact beyond the simple applications of punishment for transgression.  They have the opportunity to sit in a circle with those who have been harmed and learn about the human impact of the transgression.

Offender Recidivism

Recidivision is a statistical measurement of an offender’s involvement in similar offenses following involvement in a formal court process or a court diversion program such as Resorative Justice.

 Offender Future Potential

The negative impact that having a criminal offense has on future employment and travel is significant.  An offender who accepts responsibility for their transgression and actively pursues reconciliation through a court diversion such as restorative justice, may receive a police record with a determined purge date period. 

The exact purge date is determined by the RCMP and may take into consideration additional offenses, but a police file does not have the same negative impact on the future positive aspirations of the offender that would be the case of a criminal record.

Facilitator Training

The Community Justice Forum (CJF) Training Process was developed by the RCMP to adequately provide individuals with the background and practical experience necessary to facilitate restorative justice forums.  

In addition to the initial 20 hour training program that is provided by CDRJS, successful facilitators are mentored through a process of 5 formal referrals.  During each of the forums in the mentorship phase, the applicant takes on increased responsibility and is provided with referrals with increased complexity.

After the initial training and the guided experience, a formal recommendation is forwarded by CDRJS to the Restorative Justice Program Director, RCMP “E” Division/Government of Canada – Crime Prevention Services.

If you are interested in becoming a member of CDRJS and contributing to the community in this manner, please contact Doug McPhee, Program Coordinator.

Message from the Board Chair for 2018

Report from the Chairperson

Coming together is a beginning;

Keeping together is progress;

Working together is success.

~ Henry Ford~

 This year has been one of the most refreshing and rejuvenating years for Cranbrook & District Restorative Justice in what seems like a very long while. Hard work and a whole lot of unwavering belief in our vision, and philosophy have not only provided much needed stability but also room to grow!

Old partnerships have been strengthened, and new partnerships have been formed.  We had the great fortune of being able to build a partnership with the East Kootenay Humanity Network and look forward to the endless possibilities this collaboration brings.  Strides have also been made in collaborative efforts with the Ktunaxa Nation as they build and strengthen their restorative processes.

Diversification of funding has been a welcome outcome of the diligent efforts of our Program Contractor and Board.  This has allowed us not only to breathe a little easier, but to expand our scope of restorative practice.

We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our volunteers, members, funding bodies, board of directors, and referral agents.  A very special thank you goes to our program contractor Doug McPhee, he is the very essence of all that is good in humanity and his efforts are appreciated more than words could ever express.

We are always looking for enthusiastic people to join our team!  Don’t miss out on being a part of something great!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” ~ Margaret Mead


Amber Riel

Board Chair CDRJS

Message from the Program Coordinator for 2018

Program Coordinator’s Report

CAP Agreement: Cranbrook and District Restorative Justice Society has signed an agreement with the Ministry of Safety and the Office of the Solicitor General (CAP Agreement) to deliver restorative practice in the province of British Columbia. This year, the definition of  “appropriate files” was defined by the capacity of the organization to appropriately address the needs of the victims.

Policy Manual: Part of the work this year has been to support the development of Provincial Standards of Practices for Restorative Justice organizations and facilitators.  The Standards were completed in the fall of this year and recent work has been to incorporate the same into the CDRJS Policy Manual.

CDRJS Constitution and Bylaws: 2018 marks the year during which the Constitution and Bylaws for our not-for-profit organization need to be amended to address the new changes in the Societies Act for BC.

MOU with Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC): We successfully reached agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding with KNC.  The agreement will provide future direction and support for Aboriginal victims and offenders in this territory.

Training: Two facilitator training sessions were offered by Debbie and Doug McPhee in Cranbrook and District.  The sessions were: January 2017 and October of 2017 – work continues providing mentoring for the new facilitators. Our thanks again to COTR for providing the training space.

Strategic Planning: In July of 2017, CDRJS Board Members were engaged in a Strategic Planning Review.  Jacquie Dust facilitated the review and the New Board for 2018 will be well-served by this thoughtful process.

Program Coordinator Contract: There was a performance review of the Program Coordinator which resulted in a contract renewal until the end of June 2018.

CDRJS Office Move: Not once, but twice and all for good reasons!

Website Facelift:  The CDRJS website has been updated using the Divi theme of WordPress.  The new theme allows us greater opportunity to showcase the beauty of this region.

CDRJS Merges with EKOHDE:  The mandate of the East Kootenay Organization for Human Dignity and Equality is to provide opportunities which support the understanding and development of human dignity and equality.  Restorative Justice is a process which works toward restoring human dignity while addressing the harm of crime.  The Humanity Network is a collaborative group of service providers and not-for-profit organizations who were pulled together by EKOHDE to determine the yearly community programs and events.  Members from CDRJS have been active in EKOHDE and the Humanity Network.  When EKOHDE had difficult maintaining a management structure, the concept of merging with CDRJS was a welcome invitation.  Amy Cross, who was the contractor for EKOHDE, has been hired through them to facilitate the transition and melding of the programs.

OARH Organizing Against Racism and Hate:  One of the responsibilities of the CDRJS participation in the Humanity Network was to be a contact for Incident Reporting and Support through the RCMP and the OARH network.  Funding has been made available through them to support a community awareness piece that was defined by the Humanity Network.  I’m sure that if Amy or Deb are in attendance, they will want to talk more on this exciting development.

I’m sure that there is more that could be said, but please have a look at our website.

Doug McPhee Program Coordinator

Our Board

Amber Riel

  • Previous Board Member with CDRJS
  • Previous Board Chair
  • Certified and experienced Facilitator with CDRJS
  • Trained in Mediation and PeaceMaking Facilitation

Cst. Katie Forgeron

  • Community RCMP officer for the Cranbrook Detachment
  • Liazon for Community Policing and referrals made to CDRJS
  • Actively involved in the community and supporting CDRJS

Avery Hulbert

  • Previous Member with CDRJS
  • Criminology and Anthropology Instructor with COTR
  • Chairperson of the COTR Education Council
  • Educational and Professional experience with Restorative Practices

Jana Schulz

  • Currently studying to take her LSAT and keenly interested in the Restorative Justice process
  • Previously a Child Protection Social Worker
  • President for the Chartered Metis Community
  • Aboriginal Education Support Worker for School District 5

Brandon Veenstra

  • Board Member with CDRJS
  • Previous and current experience with non-profit organizations at the Board Level
  • Trained CJF Facilitator with CDRJS
  • Practicing Lawyer with extensive experience in Restorative Justice organizations

Kevin Ward

  • Board Member with CDRJS
  • Board Member with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors
  • Director of Stonecross Retreat Centre
  • Trained CJF Facilitator with CDRJS
  • Trained Peacemaking Circle Facilitator
  • Family Group Conferencing Coordinator/Facilitator

CDRJS is currently interested in adding members to the Board.  If you are interested, the Board meets every second month and your contributions will help guide a very meaningful and valued contribution to our community. 

Contact Doug McPhee, Program Coordinator, if you are interested or have any questions. (250-489-8999)