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Systemic change toward restorative justice: Washington County, Minnesota

Coates, Robert B
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Saint Paul, MN: University of Minnesota, School of Social Work, Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.

Planned systemic change in an organization or system can be very difficult to effect. Correctional systems are no different. Against this background, in the mid 1990s Washington County Court Services (Minnesota) embarked on a process of adapting restorative justice principles as the basis for its response to crime and those affected by crime (victims, offenders, and communities). Coates, Umbreit, and Vos examined relevant records and conducted in-person interviews to determine factors that fostered or impeded restorative justice policies and practices. Their findings cover the history behind the initiative, goals and strategies of the process, and policies and programs of the Department of Court Services. Using Washington County as a case study, the authors conclude with a framework for doing advocacy and organizational change.


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