The Restorative Justice model aims to resolve juvenile offenses/cases by ensuring responsibility of the juvenile offender and some way to make things right for the victim. Through this process, a juvenile offender's accountability is ensured without the detriment of arrest/court record that could tarnish their name forever.
The City of Scottsdale in Arizona is one of the champions of the Restorative Justice model for juvenile offenders. Cassie Johnson, the senior analyst for Scottsdale PD is today’s resource speaker to discuss how they implemented their Restorative Justice Intervention Program (RJIP).
Cassie holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Public Administration. Her expertise in strategic planning, process improvement, and analysis allowed her to work in various high profile projects for the Scottsdale PD.
Cassie will walk us through Scottsdale's RJIP, from planning and policy-making to implementation and outcomes. Topics she unpacked on the course include:
- Restorative justice’s working definition and benefits.
- The Scottsdale Model of restorative justice, the agency in charge of the Restorative Justice Intervention Program (RJIP) and the other stakeholders of the program.
- The objectives of the program to ensure accountability in juvenile offenders, reduce the time spent in the process, make the process more impactful and reduce recidivism, and become a model for the initiative.
- The basic mechanics involved in restorative justice and the requirements to qualify for the program
- Criteria for the juvenile offender and the eligible offenses to the program.
- A detailed look into the investigation process for RJIP cases.
- The timelines for the process, from contacting, program completion, extension, to exit interview.
- The outcomes after a juvenile undergoes the RJIP.
- Case studies illustrating 2 successful cases under the RJIP.
A look into the implementation of the Restorative Justice Intervention Program (RJIP) including:
- The program planning and pre-evaluation
- The revisions and updates done to the forms and the public records retention system
- The tracking mechanism and internal communication employed for the program
- The types of training that were mandated for the PD and the SRU
- The reporting and program evaluation to measure its outcomes
- Measuring recidivism for RJIP cases and a breakdown of the offenders by gender, age, ethnicity, race, and location.
Questions raised during the Q&A involved:
- Instances when juvenile offenders and the parents decline participation in RJIP
- Tracking unsuccessful RJIP cases
- Comparison of recidivism for RJIP and non-RJIP cases
- Why traffic violations aren’t eligible for RJIP
- The launch of the program
- Researches on the program's impact on the juvenile offenders
- Opposition to the program
- Notification if parents are separated or divorced
- Retention of records
- Notification of schools of such cases
- Partnership with non-profits
- The court’s involvement in the program
- The branch of the system that the Youth and Family Services Unit is affiliated with
- Recommendations when employing a similar program