Restorative Justice Comes to Northeast

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On February 3, the Waite Park Community Council hosted Steve Larson, the Community Coordinator from Restorative Justice Community Action (RJCA). RJCA is an organization that seeks to rehabilitate non-violent offenders of what is termed "livability" crimes. These types of crimes, such as disorderly conduct, public intoxication or public urination, usually only require the offender to appear in court and pay a small fine. The Restorative Justice process seeks to offer an alternative sentence for these offenders by allowing them to participate in uniquely crafted programs within the community they offended.
 
RJCA works in Minneapolis neighborhoods to strengthen offender accountability for livability crimes by empowering local citizens to participate directly in the justice process. The offenders that are allowed to enter the program, based on the recommendation of the City Attorney and Restorative Justice coordinators, meet with neighborhood residents to craft personal restitution plans instead of paying the usual fine for these low-level offenses. Based on the data for these crimes, offenders in the RJCA program are less likely to reoffend compared to other criminals that only pay a standard fine.
 
Restorative Justice has operated in other parts of the city for several years and has recently kicked off their program in Northeast Minneapolis. According to Steve Larson, RJCA works with about 500 offenders throughout the city each year. On February 11, Restorative Justice worked with its first two offenders in the area, one in the Windom Park neighborhood and one in the Marcy-Holmes area.
 
You can find out more information on Restorative Justice at www.rjca-inc.org.

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This page contains a single entry by Waite Park Community Council published on February 17, 2009 1:35 PM.

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