Cook County restorative justice program offers 2nd chance for young, non-violent offenders

Cook County restorative justice program offers 2nd chance for young, non-violent offenders

CHICAGO (TOC) — Greater than two dozen Chicagoans now have a possibility to stay their lives in another way.

Wednesday marked the primary commencement for the Circuit Court docket of Prepare dinner County’s Restorative Justice Neighborhood Court docket in Englewood.

Twenty-nine younger women and men now have clear slates after graduating from a six to nine-month-long program educating individuals battle decision and job expertise. It even offers emotional help for overcoming trauma.

“With out the peace circle keeper, the decide and Fred again there, I do not know the place I’d be as we speak,” graduate Jayveon Reed mentioned. “As a substitute, I am right here speaking in entrance of you guys.”

These in cost say one mistake shouldn’t smash a life.

“We’re right here additionally as we speak to let we worth you,” Chief Decide Tim Evans mentioned. “We all know the trauma that you just needed to overcome as a way to step into this room as we speak.”

A felony file can function a barrier for folks looking for jobs, and specialists say desperation can lead recidivism.

The Illinois Sentencing Coverage Advisory Council estimates that of the folks launched from Illinois prisons annually, 43% return inside three years. And that quantity will increase with time.

“Many of the individuals, the defendants, they seem like me,” Asst. State’s Lawyer Jamal “Jay” Jackson mentioned. “So, it is a pleasure for me, , they see me, I see them and provides them the ‘what’s up’ nod. And so they know, I am right here in your behalf.”

This system is for folks between the ages of 18 and 26 who’ve dedicated crimes that aren’t violent. After this system is efficiently accomplished, their data are expunged.

“I am blissful that it is over,” Reed mentioned. “You’ve got gotta be grateful, you gotta take it as a lesson and never a loss.”

These in command of the courtroom program hope to develop restorative work throughout Prepare dinner County. They’re additionally asking for neighborhood volunteers to function mentors to individuals.

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