Volunteers are needed for the Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project.
No formal education is necessary as the LARJP provides training and mentor support. Training includes information about restorative justice, a volunteer's role and responsibilities, facilitator skills - including role playing.
The LARJP works with law enforcement, the court system and schools. The idea is to reach juveniles who have broken the law or violated school rules and catch them before they become habitually involved in crimes.
The main activity is a conference that brings together the juveniles who caused the harm, their families and the victims. Other community members also may be present. All have an opportunity to speak.
The Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project provides training for volunteers - who donate five to 15 hours per month, with breaks for work obligations or travel.
Volunteers need to be at least 18 years old, have their own transportation, want to help families, youths and victims, and must complete 24 hours of training, as well as four ongoing training sessions per year.
Training sessions are from 3:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 26 and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and Oct. 28.
For more information, contact Stephanie Haider, LARJP director of volunteer services, at (218) 562-4926, or e-mail email@example.com.
The gathering discusses what the juveniles can do to repair the damage they caused. Based on the discussion, a written contract is created. Juveniles are expected to complete the terms of the contract within three months. If the terms are completed, the juveniles are free from more obligations from the incident. If not, the case is referred to the county attorney's office or back to school authorities.
Cases are referred by law enforcement, area schools or the county attorney's office for more serious cases that may involve felony-level offenses.
Volunteers meet with all case participants before the conference that brings them all together. The volunteers coordinate, plan and facilitate the conferences. And they monitor to see if the contract terms are met, reporting to the project director when they are not completed.
Volunteers are asked to maintain required case paperwork and communicate with the project director. Volunteers are required to maintain case confidentiality.
Source: Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project, Pequot Lakes.
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