Life in the Heartland: Justice Reform

Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville have initiated a restorative justice diversion program as an alternative to prosecution. Programs like this focus on the harmful impact of a crime and define what can be done to repair that harm, while holding the offender accountable. Key to the process is a face-to-face meeting between the offender and victim, moderated by a trained facilitator.

For the technique to succeed, the parties have to let go of preconceived notions about prosecution. These discussions focus on healing, rather than punishment. They affirm that the survivor has been wronged and has suffered. Then the conversation turns to solutions: How can we make this better? View the full story here.