Our services

Restorative justice conferencing

Open Circle brings people together to collectively acknowledge and respond to experiences of harm. With careful preparation, Open Circle makes difficult conversations possible by providing opportunities for respectful, facilitated dialogue.

These processes include giving voice to those who have been affected, sharing further information surrounding the harm, taking responsibility for the harm and exploring steps to be taken to prevent harm occurring in the future. The restorative process can involve a face-to-face meeting or another form of communication, for example a letter or video exchange. The process is facilitated by an experienced convener, who works to maintain safety and care for every participant.

A restorative justice process is:

  • Voluntary – people only take part if they want to
  • Confidential – what is said during the process is confidential (unless everyone involved agrees otherwise)
  • Supported – program staff spend time with each participant in the lead up to a conference to help everyone prepare
  • Constructive – the process offers benefits to all who take part and care is taken to ensure no one is harmed by participating
  • Flexible – as much as possible, the process is responsive to people’s needs.
  • Free of charge – Open Circle restorative processes are funded by RMIT and therefore there is no monetary cost to participants.

The types of processes that we can offer include victim offender mediation, restorative justice conferences, talking circles and restorative engagements.

Open Circle takes a flexible approach to the types of cases accepted for restorative justice processes. Referrers are encouraged to contact Open Circle for a discussion.

 

Consultancy and research

Open Circle’s team of restorative justice policy experts helps organisations and government to develop restorative practices that are tailored to their needs and priorities, and those of their clients and service users. Previously, the CIJ and Open Circle team have assisted the TAC, WorkSafe and RMIT University to design and implement restorative programs.

Open Circle also contributes to restorative justice research and thought. The Open Circle team is available to speak at conferences and events, and welcomes opportunities to collaborate.