FRANKLIN — The Franklin Mayor's Drug Task Force is inviting local citizens to attend a Lunch-n-Learn on Friday, January 24 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. for the showing of the documentary film, "Beyond the Broken Windows," a 25 minute presentation on the Vermont Reparative Probation Program.
Following the documentary, Jay Apicelli, CADY Restorative Justice Director, will lead an engaging discussion about applying Restorative Justice Practices in a variety of settings. The Lunch-n-Learn will include a complimentary lunch and take place at the Bessie Rowell Center, located at 12 Rowell Drive in Franklin.
The presenter, CADY (Communities for Alcohol- and Drug-free Youth), provides community education, positive youth development programs, trainings and outreach to prevent substance abuse and to build healthy foundations and promising futures for the youth of central New Hampshire. Since 2007, CADY has operated Restorative Justice, the sole youth court diversion program, for the Plymouth District Court region, and is honored to share their experience with the Franklin region. To date, the CADY Restorative Justice Program, a NH accredited program with a 93% success rate, has given over 115 youth from the Pemi-Baker, Newfound, and Lincoln-Woodstock regions the chance to take responsibility for their actions and turn their lives around.
Restorative Justice works with youth to make amends for the harm caused to the victim, community, family and themselves (for minor juvenile offenses) by diverting first-time youth offenders from the traditional juvenile justice system to a community-based program. Restorative practices are nationally cited as being effective life changing methods for all stakeholders because it holds youth accountable for their actions, while at the same time addressing at-risk behaviors. Goals for the youth are to promote growth and lasting behavior change and to prevent their future involvement with the criminal justice system.
The three main questions asked of program participants are: 1) what harm has been caused 2) who has been impacted and 3) how can you make amends for the harm you caused? A panel of community members then works with the youth to tailor a reparative contract to their individual needs. Upon the successful completion of a reparative contract which includes the payment of restitution, a written apology to the victim, community service, and educational programming, the youth's record is expunged. In addition to addressing the harm committed, panel members work with youth to identify and address common risk factors contributing to delinquency including substance abuse and mental health issues, poorly developed social and decision making skills, and complicated family issues.
Restorative Justice Practices have gained strong public support in recent years, as community members and victims alike have seen that the process drastically improves the administration of justice in a cost-effective manner for all concerned.