MPBN to focus on justice project

Posted Dec. 11, 2009, at 9:14 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast will be the subject of Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s public affairs series “Maine Watch” later this month.

With host Jennifer Rooks, the program will focus on RJP’s Community Reentry Program for offenders and jail inmates. It also will discuss Community Resolution Team Conferences and the global perspective to restorative justice.

The television program will air on MPBN at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 17 and 18. It will be rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20.

The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast originated five years ago as an alternative to the criminal justice system’s punitive response to crime.

Working within the justice system, RJP focuses on repairing the harm done to victims. It does this by holding offenders accountable and encouraging them to take responsibility for the harm they caused.

RJP offers rehabilitative alternatives to jail, promotes healthy decision making, reintegrates offenders into the community and engages the community as partners in restorative responses to crime.

“Maine Watch” will feature members of a Community Resolution Team Conference in which an adolescent and the person harmed met with community members and through a structured process developed a mutually agreed-upon contract to repair the harm. A second focus will be the Community Reentry Program, which helps individuals make the transition from jail back into the community with the help of a mentor.

The program will conclude with a panel consisting of RJP chairman T. Richard Snyder, Waldo County Sheriff Scott Story, and Two Bridges Regional Jail of Wiscasset administrator Mark Westrum.

For information about the Restorative Justice Program, contact Margaret Micholichek at 338-2742 or margaret@rjpmidcoast.org.

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