SIRJ is a better alternative to juvenile court and detention for the growing legion of low-risk offenders.
Juvenile prosecution and incarceration lead youth on a pathway to failure. Crime victims are no better off, the whole community suffers; its safety violated, its relationships broken.
SIRJ is a collaborative approach to justice with better outcomes for most everyone affected by crime.
SIRJ is based on proven models in the U.S. and around the world. It is a partnership with local law enforcement, Community Corrections, judges, attorneys and community members.
At a time when one in 100 American adults is confined to prison or jail, the ballooning cost of incarceration is strangling state budgets without increasing the safety of our communities. We do not need more young people in jail; we need stronger communities with young people who can recognize the pain and damage that criminal acts can cause.
First, mediators meet with the offender who has paid a small fee to participate. Next, if the victim agrees to participate, the mediators meet with that person.
Finally, in the mediators’ presence, offender meets victim and possibly other members of the community. All sides discuss the circumstances of the crime and the harm done to victim and community and work out the best plan to restore everyone associated with the crime.
Restorative Justice lets victims confront their offenders. It holds the offender accountable and involves the offender in repairing the harm caused to victims.
Restorative justice focuses as much on the victim and the community as on the offender. It views crime as a violation of the victim and of the community as a whole, not just a violation of state law. Agreements reached during these interventions often include financial restitution, community service and more.