In 2012, a partnership involving Reedley Police, Mennonite Central Committee, Reedley Peace Building Initiative, City of Reedley, and Kings Canyon Unified was formed to initiate a process of Restorative Justice in more effectively dealing with juvenile crime. Over the next four years, a team having grown to over 75 trained mediators, has continued to work directly with both the City of Reedley and Kings Canyon Unified to offer a layer of Restorative Justice to the current discipline practices.
The Restorative Justice process is an optional additional avenue for students who have committed offenses that are violations of the Education Code and/or civil codes of law. While Restorative Justice does not eliminate disciplinary consequences, it does provide the pathway for students to heal the damage created by their actions. It also offers the opportunity for restitution, which can be financial, emotional, or service-oriented. Most importantly, Restorative Justice takes student offenders, their parents, and their victims through a specific journey of reflection, admission, and improved decision-making as offenders move forward. Kids make mistakes. It is definitely the role of schools, police, churches, and community to work together to show our children how to both accept the consequences of their actions (discipline) and then how to grow from their mistakes (maturity).
Benefits of the Program
The Restorative Justice Program will provide students with the opportunity to:
- Take responsibility for their actions and involvement in an offense.
- Work out a written agreement for the restitution that is due.
- Get over the offense by "making it right" with the victim directly.