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Legislature approves restorative justice for juvenile offenders

March 5, 2012

The Senate action on the bill sponsored by state Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) follows a unanimous House vote in February and sends the bill to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her approval.

Restorative justice brings together the victim, the juvenile, their families, and relevant community members to encourage the juvenile to accept responsibility for repairing the harm caused by the juvenile’s offense. The program must be sensitive to the needs of crime victims.

“Washington is a national leader in using evidence-based strategies to reduce juvenile crime, and all of the evidence proves that restorative justice is very effective at changing the behavior of juveniles and making victims feel whole again,” said Goodman, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

The Goodman bill would provide the first definition of the concept of “restorative justice” in Washington state law.

Restorative-justice programs can save victims and taxpayers more than $7,000 per case in reduced crime and criminal-justice costs, according to the Washington State Institute of Public Policy. The Institute has provided the research behind much of the state’s progress in implementing evidence-based crime-fighting strategies.

Read the whole press release.


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