Community Connections is a diversion program in partnership with the Department of Juvenile Justice in Tallahassee, Florida. It is based on nonviolent communication and restorative justice.
The program serves youth between the ages of 13 and 17, most of who are referred as a result of involvement with the legal system or difficulty in school or at home.
Typically, teens come to us as a diversion option to court, as part of their probation, or as a community referral.
What is restorative justice?
Our current retributive justice system asks three questions:
- What law was broken?
- Who broke it?
- What punishment is warranted?
Restorative justice asks different questions:
- Who was harmed?
- What are the needs and responsibilities of all affected?
- How do the parties together address needs and repair harm?
The Process of Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice facilitators help people harmed by crime or conflict come together with those who caused the harm, and all others impacted by the event, to respectfully discuss the impact, obligations, and actions needed to repair harm and make things as right as possible.
The person harmed is given an opportunity to speak about the impact of the event, ask questions, and work together within the group to decide how the harm should be repaired.
The person who has done harm is given the opportunity to take accountability, to make things as right as possible, and to restore his or her place in the community.