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Partnering with communities to address harm through dialogue

We partner with sites across the US to build pre-charge restorative justice diversion programs that reduce youth criminalization while meeting the needs of people harmed.

Diverting cases that normally result in criminal or juvenile charges to restorative justice does much more than prevent system involvement for young people. The process allows the person harmed, the responsible youth, family, and community members to come together to discuss what happened, including the causes and effects. Together, at the direction of the person harmed, a plan is produced for the young person to make things right by the person harmed, family, community, and themselves. The young person is supported by family and community-based organizations to complete the plan, and when the plan is completed, no charges are ever filed.

A step-by-step infographic shows you how a Restorative Community Conferencing process works.

Our model of RJD is defined by 8 core elements:

  • Element 1: Oriented around the needs of people harmed
  • Element 2: Designed to end racial & ethnic disparities in juvenile and criminal legal systems
  • Element 3: Focused exclusively on pre-charge diversion
  • Element 4: Structured to prevent net-widening in the juvenile legal system
  • Element 5: Dedicated to a strengths-based approach to healing harm
  • Element 6: Rooted in relationships – how to nourish, deepen, and heal them
  • Element 7: Committed to protecting participant confidentiality
  • Element 8: Created and held by community and community-based organizations

We provide customized training and technical assistance to community organizations and system partners across the country to understand and operationalize these elements in the programs they design for their jurisdictions. Additionally, we collect and evaluate data with our sites to inform the implementation of restorative justice diversion as an evidence-based alternative to criminalization. To learn more about how we operationalize these elements, please watch our Introduction to Restorative Justice Diversion webinar.

Community Partners / Leading Restorative Justice Diversion

We are fortunate to partner with amazing organizations and stakeholders across the country. The list of organizations below represent sites that are in various stages of their RJD program. While some are in the early stages of planning, others have launched programs and are currently taking cases, or exploring opportunities to expand their RJD program.

Additionally, depending on site specific needs, the level of support provided by our Restorative Justice Project team at Impact Justice varies and typically falls into the following categories:

Thought-Partnership (Limited support)

For sites looking for lighter levels of support, our team is available to provide customized presentations, supply as-needed advice, or other time-limited support that will help advance local RJD efforts.

Strategic Advising (Intermediate support)

For sites with an already established foundation of partnerships between community-based organizations and referral agencies, our intermediate level of support typically involves regular advising and coaching, opportunities to participate in our RJD training suite, and other site-identified needs to help develop and launch an RJD program, including access to the RJD case management database.

Deep Collaboration (Comprehensive support)

For sites at the very beginning stages of exploring RJD and still identifying the partners interested in creating a local RJD program, our more extensive level of support includes guidance through all phases of our RJD training and technical assistance offerings, and supporting the full adoption of our RJD core elements. These sites are also supported with access to our RJD case management database and coaching through data collection, analysis, and program evaluation.

Oakland, CA

Community Works West

Community Works West (CWW) receives cases from the District Attorney in Alameda County, CA such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that CWW facilitates.

San Francisco, CA

Community Works West

Community Works West (CWW) receives cases from the District Attorney in San Francisco County such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that CWW facilitates. Recently, CWW in San Francisco has expanded the population of young people they serve to include transitional age young adults.

Huckleberry Youth Programs

In partnership with CWW, Huckleberry’s Community Assessment and Resource Center supports young people to fulfill their plan to repair harm through post-conferencing case management.

Long Beach, CA

California Conference for Equality and Justice

CCEJ receives cases from the District Attorney in Los Angeles County such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that CCEJ facilitates.

Nashville, TN

Raphah Institute

Raphah Institute receives cases from the District Attorney in Davidson County, TN such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that Raphah Institute facilitates.

Richmond, CA

RYSE Youth Center

RYSE Youth Center receives cases from the District Attorney in Contra Costa County, CA such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that RYSE facilitates.

Miami, FL

S.O.U.L Sisters Leadership Collective

S.O.U.L Sisters Leadership Collective (SSLC) receives cases from the State Attorney’s Office in Miami-Dade County, FL such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that SSLC facilitates.

Philadelphia, PA

Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project

Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project (YASP) receives cases from the District Attorney in Philadelphia County, PA such that young people facing criminal charges are diverted from the juvenile legal system into the Restorative Community Conferencing process that YASP facilitates.

Early Stages

Durham County, NC

New Orleans, LA

Arlington, VA

Seattle, WA