History of RJV

The Timeline of Restorative Justice Victoria

2002: A citizen’s group interested in the philosophy of restorative justice formed to discuss delivering services in Victoria (Penny Joy, Saul Arbess, Robert Ball and Crystal White), which eventually became Restorative Justice Victoria (RJV).  Penny Joy was Chair of the RJV Board until 2010, and kindly offered the basement she co-owned with Saul Arbess as the principal operating location of the organization until 2009, when we got our own office.  Approximately 10 core volunteers helped RJV get off the ground.

2003: Following a series of community meetings, fundraising and police liaison meetings, the group acquired start-up funds from the provincial government’s Community Accountability Program.

2005: RJV was officially incorporated as a society and embarked on a pilot project with the Victoria Police Department (VicPD).  Approximately 20 volunteers are trained and take on cases.

2006: This year was a critical point for RJV: we signed an MOU with VicPD to take pre-charge diversion cases for minor offenses, Geanine Robey took on the role of Program Coordinator from Dana Caple Smith, and the number of referrals and projects began to grow exponentially.

2007: RJV established an ongoing relationship with VicPD, serving the City of Victoria and Esquimalt, and provided training on restorative justice to the uniformed divisions of the VicPD. At that time we had 42 volunteers, 33 of whom were trained facilitators.

We then became community partners with the Victoria Crown Counsel, Volunteer Victoria, and School District #61, offering community justice conferencing  and related services (e.g. victim-offender reconciliation)  for cases referred by police, Crown, court, school and community agencies.  We also developed restitution sessions at lunch hours in a middle school and  workshops and speakers for our volunteers, as well as public education events.

2008: RJV signed a memorandum of understanding with the Victoria Crown Counsel to receive cases.

2009: Thanks to seed funding from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and the Victoria Family Court & Youth Justice Committee, a “Theatre Outreach” project  (including RJ training for youth) was designed and presented at the Belfry Theatre and several Victoria schools.

RJV also moved in to its first office, rented from Volunteer Victoria at #306-620 View Street.

2010:
-Gillian Lindquist took over the role of Program Coordinator.
-RJV began receiving referrals from ICBC.

2013:
July 1: RJV moves to 1933 Lee Avenue, our biggest office yet!
November: RJV’s Program Coordinator Gillian Lindquist wins CSC’s National Ron Wiebe Award!

2015:
Early 2015: We sign an MOU with the Oak Bay Police Department to accept referrals that occur in Oak Bay.
June: Gillian begins her maternity leave and Jessica Rourke steps in as our Executive Director.

Thanks to Penny Joy and Robert Ball for providing the information for this page.

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