….According to Lee, "You can call it Restorative Justice 2.0." The idea, he says, is to increase options for juveniles looking at misdemeanor charges, and even some felonies (which could include assault, burglary and a number of drug crimes), and get them into the program before prosecutors press charges.
"If they are deemed suitable, by virtue of the fact that they accept responsibility for their offenses, and they are remorseful and contrite, we would divert them into a victim-offender process, before the charges are even filed," Lee says. "It basically operates on the premise that it is better to keep juveniles out of the criminal-justice system, and that the best thing that you can do is have them acknowledge responsibility."
The way the system works now, restorative justice conferences are initiated by the victim only.
"We are looking at a modification," Lee says, "to allow offenders to request participation in the process."