Restorative Justice : Elaine Enns

About Elaine Enns

Elaine Enns


Elaine has been working in the field of restorative justice and conflict transformation since 1989 as mediator, consultant, educator and trainer.  She is currently working on a Dr. of Ministry degree at Saskatoon Theological Union, in which she is applying a restorative justice lens to the historical and contemporary experiences of Canadian prairie Mennonites.  Elaine has provided mediation and consultation services for individuals, churches, schools, community organizations, criminal justice agencies and businesses, and traveled throughout North America teaching and conducting these trainings:  

  1. Victim Offender Dialogue Facilitation / Community Justice Conferencing Training.  Focuses on the theory and practice of mediation between victims, offenders and their support people. Community Justice Conferencing (CJC) is based on the New Zealand model of Family Group Conferencing.  CJC mediations bring together people from the offender's natural community (family, church, school, neighborhood, etc.), a police or probation officer, and the victim(s) and their support people.  Victim Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP) are now in hundreds of communities across North America, run by volunteer mediators working to "make things as right as possible."  This training introduces participants to the basic skills for organizing and facilitating victim-offender dialogue.

  2. Restorative Justice Training.  Restorative Justice was pioneered as a response to crime. This approach views crime as a violation of people and relationships rather than of just the law. It seeks to meet victims' needs for compensation and empowerment, to hold offenders accountable while offering possibilities for restoration, and to invite church and community to participate in the justice process as healers and peacemakers.  Restorative Justice programs sometimes work with the criminal justice system in developing and advocating programs consistent with the principles of accountability, healing and restoration.  This training also provides tools for addressing situations of power imbalance and injustice, and shows how Restorative Justice is being applied more widely to conflict scenarios in e.g. schools, Social Services, refugee work, mental health, etc. 

  3. Conflict Transformation TrainingCooperative conflict transformation and problem solving can benefit homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, congregations and other groups.  It provides an opportunity for dialogue, accountability, healing and even reconciliation, and can assist people and organizations to reduce the emotional and financialcosts of conflict.  Learn valuable insights and strategies for dealing with interpersonal and group conflicts.

Mediation and Consultation.  Mediation is a basic cooperative process which uses a facilitator. It involves two or more parties or sides, and a mediator. The mediator guides the process and creates a safe place for the parties to work, but does not decide the issues. There is no agreement until the parties make one. Facilitation and consultation services help organizations design and establish cooperative management systems. Elaine offers mediation, facilitation and consultation services to individuals, churches, schools and organizations. 

With a Bachelors degree from the Canadian Mennonite Bible College (Winnipeg, 1989) and a Masters in Conflict Management and Peacemaking from the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (Fresno, 1995), Elaine was trained and still collaborates with the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University.  She had taught at Claremont School of Theology in southern California, Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Andover Newton Theological Seminary in Boston, and Menno Simons College in Winnipeg, where she was the 1998 Esau Distinguished Visiting Professor.  She has given invited lectures at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, and Conrad Grebel University College in Kitchener-Waterloo.  Elaine often partners with her husband, Ched Myers, to teach on the Theology and Practices of Restorative Justice, and most recently co-authored with him a two volume project entitled Ambassadors of Reconciliation (Orbis Books, 2009).  She has led numerous seminars, retreats and conferences across the ecumenical spectrum.  Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Elaine currently lives in Oak View, CA.  You can view her Vitae here.