Peacebuilders is a nonprofit organization based in Toronto, Canada that seeks to enhance access to justice for youth in conflict and advocate for change in our justice and education systems. We use restorative practices to keep young people out of the criminal justice system, make schools safer for learning and development, and build strong and healthy communities.
Founded in 2002, by Toronto lawyer and mediator Eva E. Marszewski, Peacebuilders is committed to transforming the youth justice system from one that punishes and harms young people to one that supports and empowers them. Despite significant policy and legislative changes over the last decade, our youth criminal justice system still lacks meaningful alternatives to young people in conflict with the law. That’s where we come in. For more than a decade, Peacebuilders has offered programs and increased knowledge about restorative justice as a meaningful and effective way to work with youth in conflict with the law and support their rehabilitation.
Our programs provide alternatives to young people facing criminal charges, in conflict at school, or confronting issues in their community. Peacebuilders’ restorative court-diversion program provides access to justice to young people across the City of Toronto. We work in schools throughout the city to help students and teachers manage conflict to create safer, more supportive learning environments. We facilitate crisis response circles to support communities working through violence and trauma. All of our programs are supported by a dedicated team of trained volunteers and community members.
Peacebuilders also provides research and recommendations to assist advocates and policymakers in the important work of criminal justice and education reform. We create training guides and other educational materials, and our staff conduct presentations and workshops for students, teachers, legal professionals and community groups every year.
To increase the capacity of youth, schools, communities, and the justice system to manage conflict through Peacebuilding dialogues.
What does it mean? Peacebuilders promotes the use of restorative practices and principles in our justice and education systems, and in our communities through advocacy and restorative justice programs that use Peacebuilding Circles.