BELFAST, Maine — The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast is offering free training for volunteers to work with their programs that serve adults who are re-entering the community after a period of incarceration.
Volunteer opportunities range from mentoring individuals, leading community outings, to facilitating community resolution circles. The Restorative Justice Project’s goal is to bring about a cultural shift in the way that the community, law enforcement and the justice system work together to address crime and punishment. Restorative justice creates a forum for victims to have a voice, and gives offenders an opportunity to take accountability and acknowledge the impact of their crimes on the community.
Efforts of the Restorative Justice Project since it was formed in February 2005 have resulted in significantly decreased recidivism, healing of victims, and transformed lives — rarities within the traditional criminal justice system. Participation by community volunteers is critical to the success of this approach to personal and communal healing.
“We have a need for more volunteers in Waldo and Knox counties,” said Margaret
Micolichek, executive director of the Restorative Justice Project. “We could easily double the number of persons we are working with. Our more than 60 current volunteers are actively committed to meeting this tremendous need.”
Volunteers receive training in all program areas and training and support are offered
throughout their volunteer time.
The next Waldo County volunteer training is scheduled for 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 and 27, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Belfast Soup Kitchen, located in the Belfast Center, 9 Field St. Attendance at all three sessions is expected. Training also is being offered at the First Universalist Church at 345 Broadway in Rockland, 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 4 and 11, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11.
Interested participants need to complete a volunteer application, which can be obtained by contacting the RJP office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 338-2742 or can be downloaded at http://www.rjpmidcoast.org.