WHO WE SERVE
Young people under the age of 18 who have been arrested on low-level felony, and high-level misdemeanor charges, but have not yet gone through the judicial process.
What we do
Using Restorative Community Conferencing, an evidence-based restorative justice practice, we collaborate with the District Attorney in Alameda and San Francisco counties to divert youth facing criminal charges from traditional juvenile justice systems into a process where they will meet the needs of those who have been harmed by their actions. Youth who agree to participate and address the harm to the victim will be given a plan for making things right. When the youth has completed the plan, the DA will not file criminal charges. Restorative Community Conferences are confidential by agreement with the DA’s office.
Our process requires the “responsible youth“ to reflect and take accountability for their actions. Conference Coordinators meet with the responsible youth to begin a process towards developing empathy for all impacted by the offense. The coordinator meets with the victim or “person harmed,” to assess needs, as well as other stakeholders including family and community members, law enforcement officers and prosecutors in order to prepare them for the Restorative Community Conference (RCC).
Restorative Community Conference & Accountability Plan
At Conference, youth tell the truth about the harm done and apologize to the victim. All are invited to add their voice to the RCC to deepen understanding of the harm and to support healing and accountability. The responsible youth learns from this diverse community of stakeholders the ways that harm committed against one person actually hurts not only to the victim but family, community, and even themselves. From this group comes an accountability plan for the youth that directly addresses the ways in which participants were impacted. The conference members must reach consensus about the plan before the conference can end and the youth can begin to make amends.
Making Things Right & Program Completion
To support successful program completion, the RCC Coordinator stays closely connected to the responsible youth for several months until all elements of the plan have been carried out. Once the youth completes the plan, thereby repairing the harm, the DA closes the case and charges against the youth are not filed.
For a visual of the process, click here.
Director of Restorative Programs