Typically three volunteers are assigned to each case. Two volunteers act as co-facilitators and the third functions as a mentor for the offender. (If there is more than one offender, a different volunteer mentor is assigned to each offender.)
The co-facilitators arrange for interviews with the offender and the victim to hear their sides of the story and to confirm their participation in the program. Ideally, the mentor will also attend these pre-conference interviews. The co-facilitators will then convene the conference to address the issues and come to a resolution satisfactory to both victim and offender. They must arrange for all the logistical and comfort requirements that will help the team reach a positive outcome.
Both facilitators and mentors must attend three-day training workshops paid for by the program. These are provided periodically in Victoria, Nanaimo and other nearby centres. Facilitators and mentors must also undergo a criminal record check before they can be involved in a conference. This is arranged at no cost through the local RCMP office.
Other Volunteer Positions
The restorative justice program has many other volunteer opportunities. For example, someone must maintain our website and keep it up to date. Someone else is responsible for monitoring our telephone and email services. Others provide outreach and publicity in the local community by organizing public events that publicize the program and inform residents of its function. In fact, there are volunteer opportunities to suit the needs, interests and timetable of most individuals.
Volunteers can also develop a vast range of skills by taking part in this program. These include interpersonal, organizational, conflict-resolution and administrative skills. New volunteers will be mentored by already trained volunteers on the job.
Volunteers are covered for liability by insurance provided by the Salt Spring Island Community Services Society. While volunteers receive no monetary compensation, they are reimbursed for all expenses related to the restorative justice program.