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Marathon County Restorative Justice Program

August 12, 2010

The Marathon County Restorative Justice
Program receives referrals of juvenile offenders, mainly between the ages of 12
and 16, for various types of crime. Staff members prepare the young offenders
to meet with their victims to allow the two parties to decide the best way for
the case to be resolved. Carrie describes how the process seeks to instil
empathy in the young offenders by helping them to see the fact that they have offended
against someone – something that doesn’t necessarily happen in the court
process. She also goes on to explain how a large percentage of victims to
participate. While the process does not necessarily lead to forgiveness, the
victims benefit a great deal from having their questions answered.

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According to Carrie, 98% of the young
offenders complete the agreements developed in the conference process in
Marathon County.  Both program staff and
community volunteers walk alongside the young people seeking to meet the
responsibilities to the victim. A victim assistance fund, created by various
community agencies, allows the young people to work at minimum wage jobs to
earn the needed funds to pay restitution. 


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