Restorative Justice PP Goals

Restorative Justice PP Goals

Photo of youth justice values written on index cards and arranged in a circle

major goal for the state’s Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee is to increase the rate of diversion for children in our state who might otherwise enter into the Juvenile Justice system. With a cross-agency effort to increase focused, evidenced-based diversion tactics within schools, law-enforcement agencies and the community at-large, Restorative Justice has become one of the key avenues by which our state can increase diversion efforts.

During the 2018 legislative session, the Diversion Workgroup of the JJPOC codified their recommendations for a state-level system for school diversion, “Development of a School-Based Diversion System in Connecticut.”  These recommendations were developed collaboratively, and outlined next-steps for full-scale school diversion in Connecticut.

In addition, as we continue to partner with the Child Health and Development Institute to train on their SBDI model, our goal is to support them as they increase the number of school districts incorporating restorative practices into their schools.

In 2018, our Restorative Practices Project Manager and a team including two individuals who train schools in practices and models that reduce justice involvement, a police Sergeant who specializes in youth, a juvenile program architect from the state’s Judicial branch, a legislative advocate for juvenile justice reform, an academic expert who researches juvenile justice reform, and the Deputy Director and General Counsel for our Boards of Education were accepted into the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Certificate Program.

The team developed a capstone project, Building Bridges for School-based Diversion, to increase school-based diversion knowledge and buy-in, as well as the diffusion of effective school-based diversion models, by creating a Connecticut school-based diversion inventory and organizing restorative conversations with statewide stakeholders to increase knowledge and buy-in.

Three main components for the project include creating and implementing a manual of standard policies and protocols; identifying and implementing a universal screening tool for utilization with JRB referrals; and infusing restorative practices into the JRB diversion system. The team worked to imbed recommendations to enhance engagement of a broader statewide stakeholder community to support the School-Based Diversion Initiative implementation (SBDI) and support the implementation of a School-Based Diversion System in the state of Connecticut.

The recommendations from this capstone can be read HERE.

TYJI aspires to one day become a resource and training ‘hub’ within the state. of Connecticut for any and all practitioners and communities focused on increasing the implementation and awareness of Restorative Justice.