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Restorative justice improves livability in Minneapolis

September 21, 2009

Fortunately, for those of us who live
in neighborhoods in Minneapolis,
Restorative Justice Community Action had already figured part of the solution

Restorative Justice Community Action (RJCA) recognized, much
sooner than I did, that the courts are overwhelmed with cases and that some of
these “livability crimes” could be removed from the court system and addressed
by the individuals and communities that were directly impacted by the crime.
RJCA defines livability crimes as “activities like drug dealing and possession,
soliciting prostitution, public drinking, public urination and disorderly

An offender of one of these crimes has to have a history of
nonviolence and be willing to participate in a restorative justice community
conference. If they agree to this, charges are dismissed and the offender meets,
face-to-face, with the community members who have been impacted by their actions.
An outcome of these conferences is that offenders are required to repair the
harm they have done through apologies, community service and sometimes personal
development (such as chemical health assessments).

Read the whole article.


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