BELFAST — The Restorative Justice Project Maine is looking for motivated and committed individuals interested in volunteering to engage in community building and justice processes aimed at increasing community safety and belonging.

Each training is “pay what you can” to make these opportunities as accessible as possible. The hope is that those who come to training commit to a year of volunteering with RJP in support of its ongoing community justice work.

This volunteer training series begins with a three-day foundational training in restorative practices, after which individuals are able to participate in restorative justice processes as a mentor, and volunteer in other capacities as a change agent. After foundations, there are more specific skill-building opportunities available to those interested in holding space for community building, healing, or responding to conflict and harm. Participants interested in facilitating harm repair processes must attend all training sessions: Foundational, Skill-Building, and Harm Repair Practice.

Some reactions from volunteers who attended last year’s training:

“The training allowed me an opportunity to practice circle keeping with my fellow trainees. We opened up to each other, shared our hopes, challenges, and growing understanding of the power of conversation and community through the act of being in conversation and community.”

“I was able to move beyond perceived conflict during this experience, and see (a) my own avoidance strategies and (b) the value of looking more directly at conflict.”

“I’m grateful for the efforts The Restorative Justice Project [Maine]  has made in the past few years to expand their reach. It’s inspiring to see this grass roots organization grow into something profound. I appreciate the invitation of ideas and the collective energy that include staff, board members, volunteers and community. The more people understand what Restorative Justice is all about, the stronger our communities will become.”

There are a few seats left in the fall session, with class sessions held online: Oct. 21 and 22, Nov. 19, Dec. 16 and 17, and Jan. 21. The program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., covers the following: Day 1, Restorative Philosophy and Mindset; Day 2, Community Building Circles; Day 3, Circle Keeping Skills; Day 4, Conflict & Repairing Harm; Day 5, Circle Keeping Skills II; and Day 6, Implementation Planning.

Included are six full-day sessions, practice/support between sessions, materials, published books, manual, and a UMaine certificate in RestorativePractices (4.2 CEUs/42 contact hours).

For more information or to register, visit rjpmidcoast.org.