Communities for Restorative Justice
Groton's branch of Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) invites the public to 'attend' its latest fundraiser from the comfort of your own home. An online auction, hosted by the Cambridge-based, cause-oriented BiddingForGood.com, will be held through June 3.
Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ), a non-profit begun in the late 1990s by Jean Bell and Joan Turner, both of Concord, has spread to 12 other nearby towns in the last few years. Concord was joined by Carlisle, Acton, Arlington, Ayer, Bedford, Boxborough, Cambridge, Everett, Groton, Littleton, Stow and Wellesley. C4RJ's protocol is to partner with local police to bring an offender, a victim as well as other affected community members together in a group setting, not in a courtroom. What distinguishes restorative justice is it recognizes that crime is a violation of people and relationships, not just the law. Offenders willing to own up to the crime are recommended to C4RJ by police departments of participating towns. Police also consult with victims to learn their wishes. Victims may pursue justice either through C4RJ or the court system. Participation in C4RJ is 100 percent voluntary. After several meetings, led by a volunteer, those affected by crime have an opportunity to share their stories and agree on restitution, from paying for damages to community service, from writing letters of apology to examining decision making, or seeking other counseling services.
To help defray costs, C4RJ, a volunteer-driven organization, is holding the online auction with first bids accepted beginning May 20. Auction items include vacation properties; tickets to Red Sox games and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Sunday brunch at the Harvard Faculty Club; numerous ways to pamper oneself; an architectural consultation; a week of dog kenneling; golf for four at the Concord Country Club; and rides to school in police cruisers. Items of interest may be 'watched' for bidding activity. To access auction and support programs and services provided to our community by C4RJ, go to: www.biddingforgood/c4rj.