Conference to focus on restorative juvenile
justice in the community
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[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
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.
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
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]