One important way to keep teenagers out of the criminal legal system is to implement restorative practices in our public schools. Restorative practices teach students and teachers how to address harm and how to protect human dignity without reverting to systems of coercive control.
Emancipate NC, in partnership with Restorative Justice Durham, has done outreach in Wilson County, North Carolina and Guilford County, North Carolina, to share knowledge with public school educators seeking to build their skills in restorative justice.
This semester, advocate Cierra Cobb has shared her personal experiences with the criminal legal system and restorative approaches with two Duke Law Students, Kailey Morgan and Ali Rosenblatt. The students have authored a report entitled “The Need for Restorative Justice in Guilford County Public Schools.” The report shares:
Restorative justice processes have psychological benefits for those involved. A review of RJ studies showed that both victims and offenders had more positive views of RJ than standard court processes; for example more victims believed the offender was held accountable and more offenders felt they had an opportunity to tell their stories in RJ practices. Particularly for victims, they have reported feelings of empowerment after completing RJ. Victims also can see the benefit of a decrease in post-traumatic stress.