The Academy is creating a Comprehensive Model for Youth Restorative Justice and Trafficking Prevention. Via its Twin Cities pilot, it is recognizing and developing best practices and policies regarding youth restorative justice and pursuing implementation into each sector: schools, police, county, and the courts. It is creating educational materials, compelling research and data, and trafficking curriculum, which will be made available to Academy members so they can create change in their own communities. A full-length documentary film will supplement the effort and highlight the positive impact of restorative justice for participants and communities.
The Academy is collaborating with multiple partnering organizations to develop this model including:
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota’s Healthy Youth Development - Prevention Research Center is one of the premier sites in the country for adolescent health research. Researchers who have been evaluating restorative practices for years will provide independent evaluation to determine best practices and demonstrate the effectiveness and cost efficiency of restorative justice programming.
Legal Rights Center (LRC)
The Legal Rights Center is a well-established non-profit law firm in Minneapolis that has an acclaimed youth restorative justice program. The LRC program focuses on at-risk youth, including those who have had high-level incidents which have led to a recommendation for expulsion and those who have been referred to the Minneapolis police and other law enforcement agencies. This highly successful program has resulted in dramatic outcomes for the youth involved including improved behavior, academic progress, and school attendance.
The Link, a Minneapolis non-profit organization which serves trafficked youth, is developing the anti-trafficking curriculum and training for restorative justice facilitators.
Additional partners include the National Judicial College, Peacebuilders – Canada, Koinonia Leadership Academy, What Works Production, Impact Films and others.
What is Restorative Justice?
In contrast to the often more punitive and expensive traditional criminal justice approach, Restorative Justice is a theory of justice that focuses on repairing harm and building relationships, with a particular focus on transformation of people, relationships and communities. Accountability is fundamental to restorative justice.
Some of the restorative practices that are utilized in restorative justice include:
- Peacemaking Circles
- Victim Offender Mediation
- Community Conferencing
- Peer Mediation
- Family Group Conferencing
For more information on the initiative, please watch the video below.