Conference to focus on restorative juvenile justice in the community

Send a link to a friend

[FEB. 17, 2005]  CHICAGO -- The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will present "Juvenile Justice in Illinois: Implementing restorative practices in your community," a conference on balanced and restorative justice, March 2-4 in Springfield. The conference aims to provide juvenile justice practitioners in Illinois with practical guidance on the programmatic application of the philosophy of balanced and restorative justice, known as BARJ.

The event will be March 2 from noon to 5 p.m., March 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Springfield Hotel, 700 E. Adams St.

"This conference is a step to ensure that juvenile justice professionals are educated and trained on BARJ practices in accordance with the purpose and policy statement of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act," said Lori G. Levin, executive director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

The conference will feature discussions about services to victims, offenders and communities, and developing community partnerships. Other topics include restorative group conferencing, peacemaking circles, victim-offender conferencing and restorative peer juries.

Nationally recognized experts on balanced and restorative justice will be in attendance. Dennis Maloney, senior program manager with Florida Atlantic University's Community Justice Institute, will present "Measuring the Impact of Balanced and Restorative Justice." Nancy Riestenberg, prevention specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education Office of Federal Programs, will present "Restorative Justice and the Schools."

Balanced and restorative justice strives to balance the attention paid to the needs of all parties affected by crime: the victim, the offender and the community. The principles of restorative justice serve as a guide to the actions taken to achieve that balance. When these principles are being adhered to and juvenile justice practice takes into account the needs of the victim, the offender and the community, balanced and restorative justice is in practice.

[to top of second column in this article]

The main goals of balanced and restorative justice include accountability, community safety and competency development. The strategies provide opportunities for offenders to be accountable to those they have harmed and enable them to repair the harm they caused, to the extent possible. Community safety can be accomplished through these strategies by building relationships and empowering the community to take responsibility for the well-being of its members. Balanced and restorative justice also seeks to increase the pro-social skills of offenders. Youth competencies are increased by addressing the factors that lead youth to engage in delinquent behavior and building on the strengths evident in each youth.

Initiatives in balanced and restorative justice are supported by the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is the state agency designated by the governor to administer the block grant funds awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office of the Illinois State's Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor provided additional funding for the conference.

For more information about balanced and restorative justice, visit the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority's Restorative Justice Resource Center at

[Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority news release]


Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor