FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Patricia Kimball
Funds Support the Expansion of Restorative Justice Practices for Juveniles in Maine
BATH, Maine (December 9, 2013) – The Restorative Justice Institute of Maine was awarded $150,000 from the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG) to expand restorative justice practices for youth in four communities across the State. These funds will support the development of a Community Justice Collaborative, including Kennebec, Somerset, Lincoln and Cumberland counties.
“Support for restorative justice practices is growing in Maine; funds from JJAG allow us to work closely with four communities to build restorative approaches to help address the needs and challenges of young people,” notes Patricia Kimball, Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Institute. “We are excited about the potential of this work to benefit kids, their families and the community as a whole and appreciate the support from JJAG for this important work. ”
The Community Justice Collaborative will include four communities within the State and the establishment of two distinct but integrated entities in each of these communities: the Juvenile Review Board (JRB) and the Community Restorative Practices Team (CRPT).
The purpose of the JRB is to make communities safer by acting as a bridge between stakeholders responsible for improving the lives of juveniles and their families. The JRB does this by linking key juvenile justice, mental health, social services, and school professionals in a collaborative matrix that facilitates communication and unifies corrective, therapeutic, and re-integrative action by all responsible persons.
The Community Restorative Practices Team (CRPT) is a regional group of volunteers who will be trained as restorative conference facilitators and mentors and to whom restorative conference cases are referred by the JRB. Restorative conferencing addresses crime and wrong-doing by bringing together (in a facilitated safe setting) the offender and victim —as well as supporters, family and community members—to acknowledge the incident and its impact, and to come to an agreement for how the person who caused the harm can take responsibility for their actions.
“The Restorative Justice Institute sees this as the beginning of a movement to build and implement restorative justice approaches in juvenile settings statewide by supporting community involvement with our youth,” says RJIM Board Chair, Dr. T. Richard Snyder. “There are massive gaps in our current system of care for young people and we believe that communities can play a critical role in filling some of those gaps, especially with young people who are often the most challenging to embrace, those who have committed acts of wrong doing. Restorative practices is a transformative model of intervention that impacts not only the young people that participate in the process, but victims and community participants as well.”
The Restorative Justice Institute was founded in 2011 to promote restorative justice practices and philosophy across Maine. The organization works in partnership with criminal justice and education institutions, social service agencies, community and faith based organizations to forward a movement that builds safer, just and peaceful communities through public education, training, networking, resource mobilization, research, advocacy and by supporting the development of local restorative justice initiatives.
For more information, contact Patricia Kimball, Executive Director directly by phone at 207-619-3630 or by email at email@example.com.