California Sheriffs Train in Restorative Justice |TODAY|
Submitted by dan. on 2007-11-07 03:02.
Nine deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department underwent four days of intensive training in “restorative justice,” an alternative to the traditional “catch ’em, bail ’em, and jail ’em” approach to criminal justice.
The training — led by New Zealander Allan MacRae — focused on techniques that bring juvenile offenders and their families together with the victims of the offenders’ crimes, forcefully acquainting juvenile defendants with the human impact of their actions, in hopes that they will not offend again.
The theory behind getting relatives involved is that family members can do a much better job keeping the offenders out of trouble than could overworked probation officers. And they can help the defendants make restitution.
MacRae said many people initially confuse this approach with “some kind of softer, Kumbaya version” of juvenile justice. “It’s actually a lot tougher and harder, but for a shorter period of time,” he said. And, he said, it’s achieved solid results in New Zealand.
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