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What is a Forum?

A CJF or forum, is a safe, controlled environment in which an offender, victim and their families or supporters are brought together under the guidance of a trained facilitator.

  • Together they discuss the offence, how they have all been affected, and jointly develop a plan to correct what has occurred.
  • Offenders must accept responsibility for their own actions. They are confronted with how their behavior affected the victim personally – and they hear it directly from their victim.
  • The conversations are often difficult and emotional, so a neutral, impartial and well-trained facilitator is present to guide the conversation.
  • Each is encouraged to speak openly, honestly and fully.
  • Together they create a plan that will satisfy the needs of everyone. Sometimes it is enough for the offender to apologize and return what was taken or fix what was broken. Other agreements may include community service work, counseling, or addictions treatment for the offender. Other solutions are possible, and welcomed.

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Related information that you might find interesting

How the Criminal Justice System Works

The Justice System in BC