Restorative Justice Project offers training opportunity

Apr 15, 2014

Everyone is familiar with the everyday problems of life in Waldo County — finding a decent job, making enough money, staying out of trouble. But facing those issues after serving time in prison compounds them, big time.

Suddenly thrust back into the environment that got him in trouble in the first place, with no job, no money and fragile relationships, and with fines, restitution, license reinstatement and probation constraining his options, the released inmate needs help.

The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast (RJP) provides trained mentors to residents of the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center in Belfast to help them transition back into society. The mentor and resident meet for an hour or so every week, and they often establish a meaningful relationship. The mentor is a resource to help the resident find a job, housing and services; the resident is a fellow human with a life and a story, usually an interesting one. Some relationships go on for years.

RJP will conduct mentor training sessions in Belfast beginning April 22. The sessions will introduce potential mentors to the philosophy and practices of Restorative Justice and to the populations we serve: men who will soon emerge from the Reentry Center and rejoin the community, and youth who are taking responsibility for their mistakes by participating in our Restorative Conferencing Program.

The first training session, which doubles as an information session, will be Tuesday, April 22, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast, 37 Miller St. A light supper will be provided.

If you like what you hear there, join us for the rest of the training on Tuesday, April 29, from 6-8:30p.m., and Tuesday, May 6, also from 6-8:30 p.m.

Please plan to attend all sessions if you'd like to mentor. If you can't come to one, let us know and we can schedule a make-up. For more information or to RSVP, contact Hanlon at or 338-2742 ext. 103.

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