Justice Alternatives

Justice Alternatives is a restorative justice program that takes place before any court process (Pre-Charge). The police or the State’s Attorney can make referrals. Families, agencies, business owners, churches, civic groups, and others can make referrals through the police department or directly to the program. The following misdemeanor offences can be processed by this program:

  • Noise Violations
  • Unlawful Mischief Cases Under $500
  • Simple Assault by Mutual Affray
  • Petty Larceny
  • Credit Card Fraud or Bad Checks under $300
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Unlawful Trespasses that do not involve Residences
  • Civil Ordinance Violations
  • Home and Neighborhood Conflicts
  • Other cases where all parties are willing to participate

Using a community conference model, responsible parties and victims work together with a volunteer facilitator to fully understand the harm resulting from the offense and to create an agreement to repair the harm.

Justice Alternatives provides individual support to victims and opportunities for:

  • expressing how they were affected by the offense
  • hearing an admission of responsibility from the offender
  • a say in what the offender needs to do in order to make things right

In accepting responsibility for her/his actions, the “offender” (or person who has harmed another) has the opportunity to work with the victims and others on the development of a reparation plan that addresses both the causes and the consequences of the offense. The offender meets with the Justice Alternatives facilitator(s), the victim, and supporters to:

  • explore the harm that has been done
  • initiate a plan to “make things right”

This approach provides the offender with the support to address her/his needs, as well as the opportunity to repair the harm done by her/his actions.