Yet Vermont’s judicial system now responds to this kind of juvenile criminal behavior with a process called restorative justice. Restorative Justice (RJ) is used to divert cases from the court system into a conference that includes truth telling, acknowledgment of any harm done, compassion and developing an appropriate restitution plan. This conference included all of the boys, who stated their role in causing the damage. They then heard the emotional story of the older woman and how she feared being targeted again. Together they created a restorative justice plan that included restitution to the victims, community service and a connection to each other that eased the woman’s fears.

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