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Just as the ION LRT “is a visionary plan that will shape the community for the future�, CJI and our partners are laying tracks for profound transformation in the Waterloo Region.

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

CJI Annual Report 2016/2017

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

Dear community visionary,


magine a community dedicated to offering restorative solutions as a first response in the multitude of contexts in which conflict and crime cause pain and damage. Imagine the potential transformation if we collectively valued repairing strained or fractured relationships. Rather than suppressing unresolved conflict with criminal

2 • CJI Annual Report 2016/2017

In 1906, people rode the Preston trolley through Waterloo Region.

and other sanctions, we could defuse tension at the source. This inspiring vision has been at the heart of our latest strategic planning process. Together with community leaders, we will pursue this ambitious venture as we expand our highly successful programs and embed restorative practices within key sectors of our society. In this report, we have chosen to represent our work toward becoming a Restorative Region using images of the construction of the local Light Rail Transit (LRT). Just as the LRT “is a visionary plan that will shape the community for the future”, CJI and our partners are laying tracks for profound transformation in the Waterloo Region. By building trusting relationships, demonstrating the effectiveness of our services, and responding to community needs, we have already made inroads in several sectors. We are grateful for cooperative

In 2018, The ION Light Rail Transit will serve our region. Photos: Region of Waterloo

endeavours in policing, corrections, education, child protection, municipal government, and the courts. We believe that as more people become aware of and experience restorative justice, more domains will be impacted, and a Restorative Region will emerge. Thank you for envisioning and working toward a just community.

Chris Cowie, Executive Director, CJI

Bridget Davidson, Board Chair, CJI

P.S. Imagine building on the Waterloo Region’s historic role in sparking a world-wide restorative justice movement by becoming the first truly Restorative Region in Canada!

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

Conflict was resolved and new skills built through mediation with: • 434 older adults (Elder Mediation Service)

206 children and parents in 83 families reduced conflict, learned new skills, and created care plans through Family Group Decision Making, Parent Teen Mediation, and Walk the Talk.

In 2016/2017, 276 CJI volunteers contributed 20,144 hours and worked alongside 23 staff to impact 14,804 people through direct services, program trainings, and community education.

• 410 victims and offenders (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program) • 124 neighbours or community members (Community Mediation Service)

122 people affected by sexual trauma (survivors, people who offended, family members etc.) were helped to heal and cope through education and support groups as well as Facilitated Dialogues.

New Canadian Youth Connections Through our Integration Circle programs, we came alongside 272 incarcerated women, 120 men with addiction and mental health issues, 183 youth in custody, and 51 new Canadian youth as they connected with community.

Helping Families Resolve Conflict This year, we helped 181 families resolve conflict and repair important relationships in many contexts. Some Highlights: • Walk the Talk staff coached parents who are struggling with entrenched conflict and a history of family violence to peacefully co-parent. • Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) equipped 11 extended families and their allies to create family care plans for their 28 children. The families now have stronger connections so that their children can be cared for safely. • Family Mediation Service referrals significantly increased, which resulted in staff preparing family members for and guiding 21 mediations.

• Elder Mediation Service (EMS) enabled 434 older adults to navigate debilitating conflict with family members, caregivers, and service providers during 85 restorative processes. • Revive provided a new educational group to help spouses and partners of sexual trauma survivors understand and cope with the impact of sexual trauma on their relationships. We have a similar program for partners of people who have offended sexually. • Facilitated Dialogue allowed 5 families to safely explore the impact of sexual harm among them.

[Facilitated Dialogue] created a safe harbour for us to have the most difficult conversation of our family’s history. — person helped through CJI’s Revive Program 4 • CJI Annual Report 2016/2017

Creating Space for Families to Thrive CJI works with community agencies to create opportunities, tools and processes that enable families to address damaging conflict and move forward. F&CS child protection workers and their clients discovered the benefits of becoming “conflict competent” when they watched a film about a mom helped by our Walk the Talk program. Recent F&CS evaluations found that CJI’s FGDM program: helped parents focus on the needs of the child instead of parental conflict, gave parents a sense of community, expanded family support, addressed child protection concerns, and created safety and stability for children.  MS staff have forged partnerships E with other older adult service providers including retirement homes, subsidized housing and the Elder Abuse Response Team. Our crucial services bridge a gap in the community and enable seniors to restore relationships and enjoy greater well-being.

Photo: Region of Waterloo

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

Restoring People involved with the Justice System

Paving the Way for a Just Community

In 2016/2017, we assisted 256 victims of crime and 718 men, women and youth who committed crimes through our Mediation, BackHome, Stride Men and Stride programs to find ways to constructively move forward.

CJI partners with courts, police departments, government, and other community agencies to work toward a more restorative and just society. Wherever possible and appropriate we help to divert people from entering our costly justice system. Our Family Centred Programs can enable families to resolve serious disputes and avoid court. We created a way for police to directly refer victims and offenders to safely meet as an alternative to laying charges. We refer offenders to John Howard Society for programs like anger management.

Some Highlights: •V  ictim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) enabled victims to dialogue with accused persons during 80 mediations. 96% led to offenders taking responsibility, mutually satisfying agreements, and avoiding costly court or incarceration.

• Stride made space for 216 women in prison to connect with 57 volunteers during rec. nights at GVI. 11 women invited volunteers to support them, through a Stride Circle, as they re-entered the community.

We are working with the courts to provide VORP as a choice for accused and victims of domestic violence to resolve conflict in select cases. This year, we received our first referrals. CJI staff educated several new Crown Attorneys about VORP and its benefits for victims and offenders. Referrals continue to grow. CJI staff have been building understanding among our MPs, MPPs, and Corrections Services of Canada about the needs of people leaving prison who want to make a new life for themselves.

The Power of Meeting Face to Face During the crime, I was personally attacked and felt really unsafe… but mediation let me share my thoughts and helped me feel safe again. I was really impressed with the process and the way the situation was resolved. — a victim who participated in VORP

As hard as it was to face the other person for what I did, it felt really good to apologize and make amends. I agreed to the victim’s request that I go to anger management… The whole process helped me realize the impact of my actions. I know I will never do anything like it again.

Photo: Region of Waterloo

— an offender who participated in VORP Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

CJI Annual Report 2016/2017 • 5

New Canadian Youth Connections Empowering Youth to Repair Relationships and Connect to Community

Working Toward a Restorative Education System

In 2016/17 CJI worked with 305 youth through various restorative programs. We also equipped young volunteers to resolve conflict and inspired a restorative world view among them now and for the future.

Restorative Schools use restorative practices to resolve conflict and prevent harm. Restorative practices can be used to prevent and resolve relationship-damaging incidents. Research shows the benefits include: reduction of suspensions and expulsions, more time for teaching and less time managing student behaviour, better academic outcomes, and a reduction in disproportionate referrals of minority students. These practices can also reduce bullying, antisocial behaviour, and disputes between pupils, their families, and staff. We continue to partner with St. Benedict’s and Monsignor Doyle High Schools to create Restorative Schools through training 60 teachers and students in restorative practices. CJI staff and volunteers also facilitate in situations of crime and conflict in other local schools.

Some Highlights: • Community Mediation Service staff helped youth build skills around conflict management and addressing bullying issues in community housing projects during two workshops. • Restorative Justice Program for Youth staff and volunteers coached 16 teens, involved with the criminal courts and from schools, on how to resolve conflict in healthy ways. Youth developed valuable skills and learned strategies to prevent conflict from escalating. • New Canadian Youth Connections enabled 51 teen refugees to build relationships with and be supported by 31 young adult volunteers during sports activities and homework help.

• BackHome made space for 175 youth to interact with 27 young adult volunteers during weekly recreation nights at custody facilities operated by Lutherwood and Ray of Hope. 8 of the youth asked volunteers to form a Circle to help them navigate challenges as they returned to the community. • Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) made it possible for 151 youth—some victims and some offenders— to meet for court-referred mediation. 96% of these VORPs resulted in an agreement that was satisfying to the victims and held youth offenders accountable while avoiding a criminal conviction.

Parent Teen Mediation provides families with an immediately accessible service to reduce conflict and give hope when they are in crisis. Having a neutral mediator who helps them build conflict resolution skills and de-escalate the crisis is an invaluable service that keeps teens, who are at risk of going into care, safely at home. — Adrienne Hafemann, Family and Children’s Services 6 • CJI Annual Report 2016/2017

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

New Canadian Youth Connections Innovative Responses to Crime and Conflict In 2016/2017 CJI responded to needs in Waterloo Region and beyond by applying restorative practices in fresh contexts resulting in 4 pilot projects and 10 new initiatives or partnerships. Just as Waterloo Region’s 19th century “corduroy” road of logs has been replaced by roads and rail, it’s time for new ways to connect citizens and keep our community safe. Photo: Melissa Bee

2016/2017 Pilot Projects In our pilot year of Mediation Guelph Wellington, our staff trained 14 new mediators and received 29 mediation referrals from by-law officers, police, schools, individuals, courts, and cooperative housing complexes. Neighbourhood groups built skills during two 8-week conflict coaching workshops. 7 groups learned about conflict resolution. Beginning in April 2017, CJI’s CMS and Elder Mediation Services staff will equip tenants to resolve conflict one day per week in a Waterloo Region Housing complex.

After launching Stride Men in March 2016, we began Recreation Nights for men with mental health concerns at Stonehenge in Guelph and for men with addiction issues at New Directions in Kitchener. This year, 120 men connected with 12 volunteers. A Grow Grant allows Stride Men to continue for 3 years! In partnership with Reception House (and Trillium Foundation seed funding), we adapted our Stride model to foster relationships and community among 51 teen refugees and young adult volunteers through New Canadian Youth Connections.

Photo: Sean Marshall

New Initiatives & Partnerships •F  amily Centred Program staff helped parents and teens strengthen conflict resolution abilities so that they are able to live together. • CMS staff partnered with the County of Brant By-law Department to assist neighbours to resolve conflict and train By-law Officers in conflict de-escalation.

• Our restorative and preventive work with faith communities dealing with sexual abuse is increasing. • Stride staff formalized a partnership with Ellen Osler House in Dundas in 2017. CJI volunteers began connecting with women at this 12-bed halfway house during recreation nights.

Bringing Restorative Justice to Haiti CJI’s ED, Chris Cowie, recently toured prisons and communities in Haiti as part of a US-based development organization’s 2-year strategy to improve relations between youth and police and to dislodge entrenched conflict using restorative justice. “It’s humbling to be chosen by Mercy Corps as one of several partners to impact such a conflictridden place,” says Chris (pictured centre back). CJI has adapted and translated some of our materials and will be training local leaders in four Haitian communities. CJI Annual Report 2016/2017 • 7

Photo: Region of Waterloo

What Community Members & Leaders are Saying About CJI Partnering with CJI allows the Waterloo Region Police Service to work with those associated with crime or conflict to ensure victims are heard, offender behavior is improved and community crime decreases… CJI offers an approach to addressing conflict that focuses on solving the root of a problem and taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again…Offenders who are referred to CJI are able to take responsibility for their actions, demonstrate accountability, and take steps to make amends. It’s a chance for them to see the impact of their actions and to change their behavior for a better future. Victims can use CJI to gain a voice in their healing and repair any emotional harm they have suffered. The process allows all sides to alleviate fear and understand the why behind the conflict. Anytime you can sit down with all sides involved in crime or conflict and participate in productive conversation, community safety is improved. — Chief Bryan Larkin, Waterloo Region Police Service

Mediation Training Impacts Work and Life The mediation training I received through CJI has certainly impacted my work but more than that it has impacted my personal life. Through mediation I have become more connected to my own conflict styles and those of family and friends... This year, I led my family through a circles activity. This was the first time I can remember discussing conflict with the people closest to me. Mediation has challenged me to confront conflict in more constructive ways. I am now able to set boundaries, and address conflict in positive and meaningful ways. — Maddy Smith took CJI’s Mediation Training through our Guelph-Wellington program

8 • CJI Annual Report 2016/2017

Resolving Conflict is Critical for Strong Neighbourhoods I appreciate CJI’s approach to bringing people in dispute together. Their focus on finding common ground and a shared agreement, helps neighbours put disputes behind them and coexist in their neighbourhood without escalating tensions. Neighbours don’t have to love each other but they do have to live beside each other….With many disputes, the opposing parties can avoid each other. This is not the case in neighbourhoods. Simply sitting on your front porch or back deck, driving to work or walking your dog can cause interactions. Restorative justice seeks to repair the conflict and the resulting side effects, so that the affected parties can enjoy a level of comfort and peaceful enjoyment of their properties. Resolving conflict is a critical piece of supporting strong neighbourhoods. — Shayne Turner, Director of Municipal Enforcement Services for the City of Waterloo

Catherine Fife showing some of the Fresh Start Creation cards, made by women in prison, that are for sale at Queen’s Park.

NDP MPP Catherine Fife recently read a statement about CJI’s Fresh Start Creations project in the legislature at Queen’s Park. She said she was impressed by the “kindness and resiliency” of the women she met at Grand Valley Institution for Women. Cards made by the women during Stride Nights are sold in the community and proceeds donated to charity. Recently, the women donated $500 to Anselma House to help women and children fleeing domestic violence. Watch Catherine’s statement on You Tube at

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

Influencing Hearts and Minds


Waterloo Region will become a Restorative Region when citizens believe it is desirable and possible. To this end, in 2016/2017 CJI engaged 12,811 people through community education and training, and hosting 12 events. Stories that demonstrate the possibilities were told through 3 client stories on film, social media, newsletters, and 3 new books.

1208 people attended 12 CJI events—including A Spotlight on Innovation, held in partnership with the Centre for Peace Advancement during Restorative Justice Week. We celebrated 6 RJ innovations birthed in this region—among them, CJI’s unique service for men who offended sexually who are also survivors.

Community Education Highlights CJI staff spoke to 7631 community members at 124 engagements and 461 people learned new skills during 64 restorative justice training sessions. CJI staff Chris Cowie, Julie Thompson, Wendy Meek, Bill Smith, and Leslie Waye along with Conestoga College Professor Judah Oudshoorn, Waterloo Region Police Chief Bryan Larkin, and WR Crime Prevention Council ED Christiane Sadeler gave a series of 8 lectures about Restorative Justice to 467 “mature minds” from the local Third Age Learning group. Photo: Sean Marshall

Revive hosted Sharing Voices and Empowerment at the Apollo Theatre during Victim’s Week in

Thoroughly enjoyed this series and came out of this with a changed view of our justice processes. — Third Age Learning partcipant

2016. Attendees watched video stories of a male survivor, an intimate partner of a survivor, and a Revive volunteer who is a survivor, heard a panel discussion on Restorative Justice Approaches to Sexual Harm and Healing, and received The Little Handbook of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse. Elder Mediation Services raised awareness about how Restorative Justice can help older adults dealing with conflict, elder abuse and decision-making at the one-day R.E.S.T.O.R.E. event. Revive hosted the Gender Variant Working Group who led a workshop to build the capacity of service providers to work with the gender variant community through cultural awareness training.

New Books by CJI Staff or That Mention CJI Little Book of Restorative Justice for Older Adults by CJI staff Julie Friesen and Wendy Meek The Elmira Case is among 200+ innovations featured in Ingenious: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smaller, Smarter, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier & Happier by Governor General David Johnston and Tom Jenkins (Chairman of Open Text). Stride is discussed in Diversity, Justice, and Community: The Canadian Context by Beverly-Jean Daniel.

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

CJI Annual Report 2016/2017 • 9

Financials* 2% 15%

1% 2%








Revenue Donations and Fundraising United Way Government Grants & Contracts Federal (47%) Provincial (31%) Regional (4%) Trillium (18%) Fees and other income

10 • CJI Annual Report 2016/2017

Expenses 238,455.48 96,133.50 1,087,763.04

130,919.80 1,553,271.82

Wages, Benefits and Contract Services 1,172,001.71 Purchased Services 145,618.53 Program and Events 32,501.39 Promotion and Fundraising 20,670.25 Travel 39,200.61 Staff Training 26,619.49 Office and Facilities 115,471.93 1,552,083.91 * Unaudited financial statements. Audited version available on request.

Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

CJI Board of Directors 2016/2017

2016-17 CJI Supporters

Officers Bridget Davidson, Chair Consulting Dietitian John Goodman, Vice Chair Inspector, Waterloo Regional Police Service Chris McEvoy, Secretary Community Services Department, Region of Waterloo

A few of our 344 amazing volunteers at our 2017 appreciation dinner. THANK YOU for all you do!


Raising awareness about CJI is critical to becoming a Restorative Region. One way, to raise our profile is to expand the membership of CJI. Members are informed regularly about CJI programs, events and initiatives significant to our plans, and restorative responses to community issues. Members champion our organization but more importantly they are ambassadors of peace in our community. Please join our visionary campaign! Become a member by contacting us at 519-744-6549 x 202 or

Carrie Boutcher, Finance Executive Garth Cressman, Partner, WalterFedy Robert Mansour, Real Estate and Financing Specialist Patricia Moore, Assistant Crown Attorney, Kitchener Lisa Sailor, PhD Dr. Toni Serafini, Associate Professor and Department Chair St. Jerome’s University; Couple and Family Therapist David Wigg, Director of Operations, exactEarth Laying Tracks for a Restorative Region

Gathering Ambassadors of Peace

By working together, we can make Waterloo Region a healthy and safe place to live. — Chief Bryan Larkin, Waterloo Regional Police Service

Abundance Canada Astley Family Foundation Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation Kindred Credit Union May Court Club of Kitchener-Waterloo Mennonite Foundation Mersynergy Charitable Foundation Ontario Trillium Foundation Shantz Mennonite Church Social Venture Partners TEENS Waterloo Region Spaenaur Philanthropy Fund The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Diocese of London United Way Waterloo Region Communities Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation Waterloo Catholic School Board

Thank You!

Municipalities City of Hamilton City of Kitchener City of Waterloo County of Wellington Regional Municipality of Waterloo

Federal Government Correctional Service Canada Public Safety Canada

Provincial Government Ministry of Attorney General Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services – Probation & Parole Ministry of Community & Social Services – Violence Against Women Ministry of Community & Social Services - Violence Against Women Ontario Senior’s Secretariat CJI Annual Report 2016/2017 • 11

Get on Board With a Restorative Region! Volunteer


Apply at or contact Peggy Laflamme at 519-744-6549 x 208 or

To make a donation by phone, please contact Shelia at 519-744-6549 x 202 or donate online at

Become a CJI Member 519-744-6549 x 202 or

Please make cheques payable to: CJI 49 Queen St. N. Kitchener, ON N2H 2G9

Photo: Region of Waterloo

Community Justice Initiatives of Waterloo Region