Community Conferencing Center

Community Conferencing Center > We provide Programs and Services for the following: > Juvenile Justice

programs

Juvenile Justice

Community Conferencing provides a cost-effective and meaningful community-based response to juvenile crime by empowering the community of people affected by the incident (victims, offenders, supporters) to collectively resolve the case themselves.

Young offenders are held accountable for their actions; victims have a voice; and everyone decides how to best repair the harm and prevent future occurrences. 

And it works. Re-offending rates for young offenders who went through Community Conferencing are 60% lower than for those who went through the juvenile justice system.

The Community Conferencing Center has worked in partnership with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, police and courts for over 10 years.   Over 7,000 young offenders, victims and supporters have safely and successfully resolved their own crimes and conflicts through Community Conferencing.

Referrals come from:

  • Baltimore City Police
  • Baltimore City School Police
  • Juvenile Courts
  • Maryland Department of Juvenile Services (DJS)
  • Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office

Community Conferencing

During a Community Conference, a trained Community Conferencing facilitator brings together victims, offenders and their respective supporters.

During the Community Conference, everyone discusses:

  • what happened
  • how everyone has been affected
  • how to resolve the matter and prevent it from happening again (written agreement).

If the agreement is completed, then the case is closed. If the agreement is not completed, then the case gets returned to the referral source to be processed in the usual manner.

Since everyone affected by the incident is included in deciding how to repair the harm, compliance with Community Conferencing agreements is extremely high (over 95%).

Uses:

  • Alternative to Court for cases including:
  • 2nd Degree Assault
  • Automobile Theft / Unauthorized use
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Theft / Larceny
  • Destruction of Property  
  • Trespassing
  • Neighborhood Conflict
  • Conflicts within Detention / Residential Facilities (among youth, staff, etc.)
  • Wraparound Service Planning
  • After Care Planning

Impact:

  • Delivers an immediate, meaningful response to crime
  • Reduces Recidivism
  • Offenders held accountable for their actions
  • Highly cost effective
  • Victims are included in deciding outcomes
  • Victims report feeling that “justice was served.”
  • Participants are connected to a network of support
  • Reduces minority over-representation in criminal justice system
  • Frees up the court system resources to better address serious cases
  • Prevents entry into deeper end of criminal justice system
  • Builds community cohesion

Youth Dialogue Circles

Youth Dialogue Circles provide a safe and structured space for young people in detention or residential programs to circle up and talk about meaningful topics.  Youth are empowered, while creating learning opportunities for important skills, such as: responsibility for self and others, maintaining healthy relationships, and problem-solving.

More about the Daily Rap

Uses:

  • Youth within a residential/detention unit
  • Between residential/detention units
  • Between staff and young people
  • Young people returning to their families following detention

Impact:

  • Reduced violence in facilities
  • Reduced isolation of young people
  • Staff who better understand young people
  • Young people who support each other
  • Safe and positive atmosphere

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