Restorative Justice Program
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?
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
Redirect the offender
The CSS Restorative Justice Program consists of three components:
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.
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
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.
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.”
Aleisha is our newest member to the Restorative Justice Program. She has a background in criminal justice, specifically criminal psychology.
Aleisha has volunteered with Teen Court since 2019 and recently took on the role of the Restorative Justice Program Assistant. Aleisha is also a North Carolina Guardian ad Litem.