OAKLAND, Calif. – When a juvenile is accused of a crime, making them face the victim, take responsibility and make amends works better than prosecution and jail time, according to a new report.

The Oakland area adopted a restorative-justice approach 9 years ago, and in just the first two years, 102 youths were diverted from the criminal-justice system, giving them a second chance to get back on track.

Community Works West administers the program in Alameda County. Its conference coordinator, Jenna Kress, noted that kids who took part were almost 44% less likely to commit another crime within 12 months.

“[The program] showed an 18.4% recidivism rate in Alameda County, where the traditional juvenile legal system shows a 32.1% recidivism rate with a control group,” said Kress….

Public News Service