Restorative Resources - An alternative to the traditional crime/punishment model of justice
Jane Weil, Restorative Justice Manager of Restorative Resources give an informative presentation on the scope of services provided by her organization with examples of outcomes.
Restorative Resources and restorative justice are an alternative to the traditional crime-punishment model of criminal justice. The central theme of restorative justice is to include the offender involved inan illegal or disruptive activity, the victim, the community, and the justice system in a collaborative effort to bring about change behavior that is of a permanent nature. Most of the referrals for this service come from schools and as well as from the Juvenile Probation Division of the Sonoma County justice system. Restorative Resources also is reaching out to the community and training volunteers in working with offenders and in the model of restorative processes to prevent future events. Much of their activity focuses on suspension and expulsion actions taken by school districts. In Santa Rosa alone, their efforts have resulted in a $500,000 savings of lost revenue for the schools from diminished ADA while students are out on these exclusionary punishments.
While most of their services are rendered for non--violent crimes, they also deal with nonviolent felony convictions and offenders as well as with gang activity.
Their services focus not just on the crime and the violation of rules and regulations that it represents, but also involve the effects on the victims in these circumstances. In essence their program helps offenders to take responsibility for their actions and to understand the impact that these actions have had on the community, as well as the persons who are directly involved by the offense. Violations create obligations for correction. All parties are engaged to understand the harm that has been done by the activity and ways to repair the damage and injuries that have resulted from it. There is a concerted effort to create a sense of accountability and responsibility in the offender not only to help him or her prevent recurrence, but also to make amends to those people or institutions that have been harmed.
To date, their program has had significant effects in reducing recidivism and significant impacts on attendance at school and changing the directions in which young offenders may be headed. They have helped over 1200 offenders over the past 6 or 7 years since the program was initiated, and are ever-expanding into more communities and involving larger numbers of community members as part of the teams.
Slides from her presentation can be found in the Meeting 060414 folder on our website home page.
More information on restorative resources may be found on their website,