Source: (2005) VOMA Connections. Fall(21):7-10.
Community Restorative Justice offers an alternative method to addressing the standards of discipline in schools. It provides schools with an opportunity to present their approach to justice and facilitate a forum for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Prevention programs are effective tools in reducing the reoccurrences of disruptive behavior in schools, ultimately reducing the demand on juvenile justice resources. O’Brien discusses three core principles of Restorative Justice; 1) repair harm, 2) involve stakeholders, and 3) change roles. These principles, when practiced, are a much needed prevention tool for at-risk youth. Program evaluation does not measure success based on the amount of punishment given an offender. Rather it measures how much harm has been repaired or prevented. O’Brien states three distinct but overlapping activities that use both quantitative and qualitative measures in the evaluating process; 1) measurement of the progress, 2) assessment of the impact, and 3) monitoring of the long-term impact. Restorative justice provides an alternative “lens” for viewing and developing new responses to crime and occurrences.
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