Idea Mornings, the get together for opinion leaders, has an important topic Friday, April 27, that is the talk of the legal world, but hasn’t gotten much publicity.
In fact, Insider Louisville may be the only news site to have posted about it.
Judge Angela McCormick Bisig, chief regional district judge, will speak on Restorative Justice and how a compassionate approach to justice can help keep youth out of jail and bring communities together.
The Restorative Justice experiment started in November, 2010 as a pilot project to test victim-oriented practices in Jefferson County’s juvenile justice system.
In lieu of jail, the pilot programs is meant to reduce minority over-representation and recidivism by bringing together accused and accuser for negotiated agreements to stop future violence and crime.
Here’s our story from the beginning of the project:
The pilot project will take place in the Louisville Metro Police Department’s 2nd Division, which includes the Shawnee, Portland, Park Duvalle and California neighborhoods.
Referring juvenile offenders to the Restorative Justice Louisville project will be a diversion option in lieu of formal Juvenile Court proceedings. Research has shown that similar programs produce a 26 percent reduction in recidivism. For those accused of new crimes, their future delinquent behavior decreased in severity.
Restorative Justice Louisville will emphasize the use of Family Group Conferences, but may also use victim-offender conferences and “peace-making circles.” Conferences will be convened by trained facilitators and involve the voluntary participation of the victim and his/her support person(s), the offender and his/her family members/support persons, law enforcement, and community representatives.
The goal of the conference will be a written agreement in which all parties agree, and that will address the harm that has been done. Such agreement would hold the offender accountable for reducing the possibility of another offense reoccurring. If either party chooses to not participate or the offender doesn’t comply, the charge will be sent to court.
The event, which begins at 7:30 a.m. at Please & Thank You in NuLu, is free and open to the public.
Idea Mornings typically include a half- hour of socializing followed by a half-hour presentation.
Those who wish to stay past 8:30 for a Q & A with the speaker or to continue the discussion with other guests are welcome to remain until 9 a.m.