Creating Restorative Juvenile Review Boards
To train four communities to transform the practice of their Juvenile Review Board (JRB) diversion programs to a restorative justice group conferencing model that, when possible, includes the crime victim. The JRB is a panel of community volunteers that reviews first-time or low-level delinquency cases referred by police or Probation for diversion from court. Under a restorative justice model, trained mediators help facilitate a discussion beween the offender and victim and their supporters to identify and remedy the harm done to the satisfaction of both parties. The goal of this project is to influence the practices of other JRBs around the state, address the harm of victims, and improve the long-term behavior of the youth involved.
Juvenile Review Board Mediation Program
To provide mediation services that engage juvenile offenders and their victims prior to the offenders’ appearance before the Juvenile Review Board (JRB) in New Haven and Hamden. The JRB is a panel of community volunteers that reviews first-time or low-level delinquency cases referred by police or Probation as a diversion from court. Mediators meet with the youth and victim (or co-defendant) to allow both parties to share their stories and clarify issues. If an agreement is reached to resolve the conflict, the mediators present this information to the JRB for consideration in the case. Community Mediation also provides mediation services for youth referred by two schools, Juvenile Probation and the New Haven Health Department’s program for young parents.
Manson Youth Institution Mediation Project
To administer a conflict management training program and reentry mediation services for New Haven youth incarcerated at the Manson Youth Institution (MYI), an adult prison for youth ages 14 to 20. Community Mediation staff provide overviews of mediation and training for MYI staff members so they can inform their clients of these services and make appropriate referrals. Focus groups and workshops were provided for youth to help them learn how to resolve conflicts and make a successful transition home. Voluntary mediation sessions are offered in the community to help youth resolve conflicts with family or community members. If successful in reducing violence in New Haven, the Connecticut Department of Correction has agreed to fund this project beginning in July 2012.