Community Needs : Family Support Services, Juvenile justice/violence prevention
The south Santa Barbara County Probation Department is seeking effective alternatives to incarceration for low-risk, first-time juvenile offenders to reduce the high rate of recidivism. The offices of the County Sheriff and District Attorney want to establish a restorative justice model in south county after seeing its success in reducing recidivism of juvenile participants in north county by 60% since 1998. This grant funds the formation of the restorative justice program in south county. Conflict Solutions Center is the only local agency providing restorative justice programs for juveniles charged with nonviolent crimes. The funds pay for a one-time symposium to educate up to 120 government officials and community members about the restorative justice approach. It also pays for 60 juvenile offenders to participate in facilitated workshops that bring the juvenile offender, parents, law enforcement and a crime victim together so that the juveniles can understand the consequences of their actions. The expectation is that future workshops will be funded by the Probation Department.