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Spotlight on Dakota County, Minnesota

June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Kaleidoscope of Justice: Highlighting Restorative Juvenile Justice. 1(1): 2, 7. Fort Lauderdale, FL: Balanced and Restorative Justice Project, Florida Atlantic University. Downloaded 21 January 2005.

Dakota County, Minnesota, is located south of Minneapolis. In 1989 Minnesota passed a Community Corrections Act whereby counties are responsible for juvenile institutions, adult alternatives to jail, and probation and parole for both juveniles and adults. The Dakota County Community Corrections Department (CCD) was selected as one of the three pilot test sites for the Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) project in 1992. This article describes the CCD’s testing of BARJ, with technical assistance from the Balanced and Restorative Justice Project operated out of Florida Atlantic University. Dakota County sought to apply restorative justice as a new framework for understanding and responding to crime. This vision required a new mission for CCD. The process for developing this new mission and its implications for staff and programs is explored in the article.


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