Restorative Justice Program
Opening Two Community Courts
Two more Restorative Justice Community Courts are opening in September in the Avondale and Englewood neighborhoods; the first was RJCC was established in North Lawndale in 2017. The process helps heal trauma imposed onto the community and ends the vicious cycle of revenge and recidivism.
Community courts seek to resolve conflicts through restorative conferences and peace circles involving those affected by crime - defendants, victims, family members, friends, and others. It also gives young people a chance to redeem themselves instead of being warehoused in jail. This program is a start in the right direction.
Victims can directly address defendants to express how the criminal activity affected them, which aids in the healing process. Defendants are assigned community service to repair the harm caused by their actions, and if the cause is substance abuse, they must also go through a rehabilitation program.