Today I spent a few hours with wonderful people from King Co. Juvenile Justice and the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution. They are working on an amazing pilot project that will eventually combine youth and adults to facilitate restorative conferences for actions that would otherwise lead to traditional retributive justice. We are all in the early stages of this project, not only for this region and the state but also across the nation. With a few state with successful programs or beginning to fund RJ programs (Colorado, Vermont, Minnesota, and others to a lesser degree). It is important to allow for the success and struggles of this new pilot.
We also watched the PBS report on Restorative Justice that tracks RJ practices from its early systems in the Maori tribes of New Zealand to the “mean streets” of Baltimore. It is an amazingly well done video, I still get emotional at the power of this work. Monday I will be bringing this work to the UW, to 90 undergrad education students. I am really excited to share this work that we are all doing.
Thank you all for joining me on this journey.