New Leadership for Restorative Justice of Wayne County
Restorative justice refers to a way of responding to crime, or to other types of wrongdoing, injustice or conflict, that focuses primarily on repairing the damage caused by the wrongful action and restoring, insofar as possible, the well-being of all those involved. A restorative justice program aims to get offenders to take responsibility for their actions, to understand the harm they have caused, to give them an opportunity to redeem themselves and to discourage them from causing further harm.
Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County is happy to announce its new Restorative Justice Program Director, Barbara Nelson. Restorative justice refers to a way of responding to crime, or to other types of wrongdoing, injustice or conflict, that focuses primarily on repairing the damage caused by the wrongful action and restoring, insofar as possible, the well-being of all those involved.Picking up where BreAnna left off, Barbara will continue to oversee the Teen Court Program. In addition, she will develop two other prongs of the Restorative Justice Program—Sentencing Circles and Mediation. Both programs emphasize an alternative dispute resolution model where the emphasis is not just on punishing youth offenders but on giving victims a voice, restoring trust in the community, and redirecting youth.
of Wayne County
Barbara comes to CSS with a long history of serving youth in Wayne County. She has mentored youth at church, taught young people in the classroom, volunteered at organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club and wrote and directed a host of theatre productions that have given young thespians a chance to shine on stage. “I love working with kids,” Barbara said, “because they brim with potential, and it is always exciting to see them discover things about themselves that they didn’t know were there.”
Barbara and her family came to Goldsboro in 2005 when her husband was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Her husband has since retired, but the Nelsons continue to see themselves as part of the Wayne County community. In discussing her vision for the Restorative Justice Program, Barbara said, “My goal is to focus on the preventive rather than the punitive.” As a licensed attorney who works in juvenile justice, Barbara said, “By the time a youth is standing beside me in front of a judge, so many opportunities have been lost to redirect their lives. I want to help reclaim some of those opportunities.”
BreAnna VanHook Battle will continue to serve the community in a new role
After four years of dedicated service to the Wayne County Teen Court Program, BreAnna VanHook Battle has set off on a new venture. BreAnna will be working as an attorney with Legal Aid in the housing division, where she will assist people facing evictions and foreclosures. During BreAnna’s time as its director, the Teen Court program thrived in its mission of helping youth offenders take responsibility for their actions through community service and other educational opportunities.
Interesting in volunteering with Teen Court or any of the other Restorative Justice programs? Contact Barbara at 919-735-1432 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.