Restorative Justice of Wayne County

Repair. Empower. Restore. Redirect 

Meet Our New Team

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 youth are 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.”

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.

Aleisha is our newest member to the Restorative Justice Department. She has a background in criminal justice, specifically criminal psychology and will be graduating from Liberty University in December of 2020. Aleisha has volunteered with Teen Court since 2019 and recently took on the role of the Restorative Justice Program Assistant. Aleisha is actively working to become a Guardian ad Litem for the state of North Carolina. 

Aleisha and her husband have been living in Goldsboro since 2018. Aleisha was born and raised in New Jersey.  In New Jersey, Aleisha was an active police explorer for the New Jersey State Troopers. 

What Is Restorative Justice?

Barbara Nelson
Program Director
Aleisha Santos
Program Assistant
Restorative justice is an approach to crime and misconduct that focuses on addressing the harm, not just punishing the offender. 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.

About the CSS Restorative Justice Program

The CSS Restorative Justice Programs has four objectives:

  • Repair the harm caused by the offense

  • Empower the victim

  • Restore community

  • Redirect the offender

The CSS Restorative Justice Program consists of three components:

  • Teen Court

  • Mediation

  • Sentencing Circles

Restorative Justice Programs and Services

 

Teen Court is a court for teens by teens. In Teen Court, offenders are brought before a court of their peers who prosecute, defend and determine the outcome of their case. 

In mediation a trained facilitator brings victims and offenders together to discuss the harm done; its impact on the victim, their family and the community; and the steps necessary to make things right.  

Sentencing circles are similar to mediation but differ in that family and community members join the victim and offender in discussing how to hold the offender accountable and repair the harm done.

It goes without saying that many youths have a difficult time navigating life’s challenges. The benefits of pairing young people with committed mentors who provide vital guidance are numerous:

  • Increased high school graduation rates

  • Higher college enrollment rates

  • Healthier relationships and lifestyle choices

  • Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence

  • Improved behavior, at home and at school

  • Improved interpersonal skills

  • Decreased risk of use of alcohol or drugs