Lakes Area
Restorative Justice

Be The Agency of Choice to Provide Restorative Justice for All Ages and Offenses

Restoring Hope.
Cultivating Community.

Average Cases a Year
70 to 
The Lakes Area Restorative Justice program currently serves on average 70 -80 cases per year
Restorative Justice Works
78% of victims would recommend restorative justice and 85% felt satisfied with the process.

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative justice offers an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system by focusing on the repair of harm and healing of relationships rather than merely punishing the offender. This approach recognizes crimes as violations against both individuals and communities, accordingly emphasizing accountability, in which offenders must acknowledge their actions and work to mend the damage they've caused. It aims not only to address and repair the harm but also to understand and rectify the underlying causes of the offense, thus reducing future risks. Central to restorative justice is the inclusion of the impacted party and the community in the justice process, empowering said parties through active participation and leveraging community support for both accountability and rehabilitation. This method seeks a more humane, constructive resolution that fosters healing for all those involved.

Restorative Justice Principles

The principles of restorative justice emphasize a different approach to addressing crime and conflict. Let’s delve into each of these principles:  

  1. Crime as a Violation of People and Relationships: Restorative justice views crime not merely as a legal offense but as a breach of relationships and harm to individuals and communities. The focus shifts from punishment to repairing the harm done and rebuilding connections. 
  1. Central Role of Impacted Parties and Community: In the restorative justice process, impacted parties and the community play essential roles. All parties—impacted parties (if they choose to participate), the community, and the participant—contribute to the response to a crime. 
  1. Assisting Victims and Addressing Needs: Restorative justice prioritizes understanding the needs of impacted parties. The impacted party’s perspective guides decisions on how to repair the harm caused by the crime. 
  1. Restoring the Community: Beyond individual harm, restorative justice aims to restore the community. Participants have personal responsibilities to impacted parties and the broader community. 
  1. Dignity and Worth of All: Recognizing the inherent dignity of all human beings, restorative justice promotes respect and reintegration. 

By embracing these principles, restorative justice seeks a more holistic and compassionate approach to justice. 

Let’s compare Criminal Justice and Restorative Justice:

Criminal Justice
  • View of Crime: 
    • Crime is seen as a violation of the law and the state. 
    • Violations lead to shame. 
  • Justice Process: 
    • The state determines blame and imposes punishment. 
    • Central focus: Ensuring participants receive what they deserve. 
Restorative Justice
  • View of Crime: 
    • Crime is viewed as a violation of people and relationships. 
    • Violations create obligations. 
  • Justice Process: 
    • Involves participants, impacted parties, and community members. 
    • Aims to put things right by repairing harm. 
    • Central focus: Meeting the needs of impacted parties and holding participants responsible for repairing harm. 
How LARJP Works
The core program of LARJP is Restorative Group Conferencing (RGC). RGC provides a forum for juvenile wrongdoers and their families, those victimized by the harm harmed, and their supporters to meet in a safe and respectful environment to discuss the incident.

The RGC process enables harmed individuals to express their feelings about the impact of the harmful behavior and to get answers to any corresponding questions they might have. It helps offenders understand the true impact of their actions on the individual, their family, and the community, and holds them accountable for the harm they have caused by completing a individually tailored contract. This contract is designed by themselves and the impacted party, ultimately concluding on how the harm will be repaired. By completing the contract, the participant’s record is then cleared, ultimately allowing and empowering them to have a greater educational and employment opportunities in the future.

To Foster a Strong and Healthy Community
Through Restorative Justice Practices

LARJP supports the community

LARJP provides equitable opportunities for all

LARJP values empathy and caring