Restorative Youth Circles

The Restorative Youth Circles Program “provides a valuable tool to help troubled youth resolve their conflicts without court action. It provides ways for them to confront their problems non-violently…to make peace with themselves and others…”

– Hon. McMurtry, Former Chief Justice of Ontario


The Restorative Youth Circles (RYC) program is a community-based alternative to the justice system that enables communities to participate in the rehabilitation of young people (ages 13 to 20) who face sanctions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) or the Safe Schools Act (SSA).

In contrast to the conventional, oftentimes punitive, criminal justice approach, the restorative justice approach of the RYC program allows participants to consider their current life path and encourages them to make better choices. Youth are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and to make amends to the people and communities that they have harmed. The program’s integrated model helps participants identify both the factors that contribute to adverse behavior and the factors that will help them move forward in a positive way.

For more information about the Restorative Youth Circles process, please see our Restorative Youth Circles information booklet.

In order to support the youths referred to our programs and serve their diverse needs, Peacebuilders relies on volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds, ages, and languages that care about disadvantaged children and youth. 

For more information about training to become a Circle Keeper volunteer, contact Merri Huber at mhuber@peacebuilders.ca or call 416-960-9778.

 

Leaders of Tomorrow (L.O.T.)

In addition to participating in individualized Peacebuilding Circles that deal with their specific cases, youth who have been accepted into the RYC program are also required to attend a weekly, after-school, youth discussion group for the duration of their case. With the guidance of a trained Youth Circle facilitator, young people gather together in safe, non-judgmental Peacebuilding Circles and learn how to speak openly, honestly, and respectfully with one another about issues that they face in their daily lives.

 

Skills for Success at the Toronto Jail

Skills for Success is a monthly program in which inmates of the Toronto Jail gather as a group with a Peacebuilding Circle facilitator to discuss issues of importance to them and develop positive goals for their future, while practicing social skills such as attentive listening and speaking in a non-confrontational manner.