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By Marlyce Nuzum

Comments can be sent to mnuzum@hotmail.com

This review of legislation was done as part of Bureau of Juvenile Justice's Balanced and Restorative Justice Initiative in Michigan

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ALABAMA: Alabama Juvenile Justice Act: Section 12-15-1.1

Purpose clause incorporates some of the restorative philosophy while not specifically using the terminology. The goals established also address pieces of the restorative philosophy: (4) To secure for any child removed from parental custody the necessary treatment, care, guidance and discipline to assist him or her in becoming a responsible productive member of society.; (5) To promote a continuum of services for children and their families from prevention to aftercare, considering wherever possible, prevention, diversion, and early intervention.; 6) To promote the use of community based alternatives; (7) To hold a child found to be delinquent accountable for his or her actions….provide a program of supervision, care and rehabilitation, including restitution by the child to the victim of his or her delinquent acts.

II. ALASKA: HB47: effective 7-1-99: Restorative Community Justice Study

Directs the Department of Corrections to study the principles of Restorative Community Justice and produce a plan for implementing these principles in Alaska. The seven "core values" of restorative justice are listed and the DOC is instructed to:

1. Examine restorative community approach

2. Review and assess the state’s criminal justice policy as it relates to restorative community approach.

3. Identify programs and practices that don’t fit within the parameters of restorative community justice.

Develop a plan to apply restorative community justice approach to the state’s criminal justice system.

Sec. 47.12.010: Goal and Purposes of Chapter

Goal and Purpose section:

"...promote a balanced juvenile justice system in the state to protect the community, impose accountability for violations of law, and equip juvenile offenders with the skills needed to live responsibly and productively."

Key restorative justice principles are stated directly, including:

Making the juvenile justice system more open, accessible, and accountable to the public.

Ensure that victims, witnesses, parents, guardian, juvenile offenders and all other interested parties are treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, and sensitivity throughout all legal proceedings

Divert juveniles from the formal juvenile justice process through early intervention as warranted when consistent with the protection of the public

Ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes committed by juveniles are afforded the same rights as victims and witnesses of crimes committed by adults

Encourage and provide opportunities for local communities and groups to play an active role in the juvenile justice process in ways that are culturally relevant

Restoration of the community and the victim

ARIZONA: ARS 8-230 and 8-341 (1998)

8-230: Referrals; diversions; conditions; community based alternative programs

Allows the county attorney to divert the prosecution of a juvenile to a community based alternative program or to a court diversion program. Allows the county attorney or the juvenile court to establish community based alternative programs. May require participation in community service, counseling and substance abuse programs, payment of restitution to the victim and payment of monetary assessments. In order to participate the youth must admit responsibility. Guidelines for community based programs highlight voluntary participation of both offender and victim, the right for all interested parties to participate, participants all agree on the consequences imposed. Also contains sanctions for non-compliance. Emphasis is on accountability to victim and reparation of harm.

8-341: Disposition and commitment

Includes in possible dispositions:

Full or partial restitution to the victim. The court must notify the victim of the disposition hearing and can accept a victim statement as to losses.

Pay a monetary assessment or perform an equivalent amount of community service.

Restitution may either be paid in money or in work hours to repair damage to the victim’s property, to provide community service

Written notice of release of any juvenile from secure care shall be made to any victim requesting notice.

Summary: Typical restorative justice language is not used and neither is the term "restorative justice". However, issues such as reparation, involvement of affected parties, and community-based alternatives to incarceration are restorative in their effect.


Requires community restoration, victim restoration, and offender training and treatment to substitute for retributive punishment, to be directed toward correcting and rehabilitating youths who have committed public offenses.

S 334: Gives crime victims the right to present victim impact statements in all juvenile court hearings. Requires the probation department to notify victims of all judicial proceedings.

Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 1700) uses restorative justice language: "to protect society from the consequences of criminal activity and to that purpose community restoration, victim restoration, and offender training and treatment shall be substituted for retributive punishment and shall be directed toward the correction and rehabilitation of young persons who have committed public offenses."


Authorizes the Department of Public Safety to use funds or grants to provide restorative justice programs. Uses the language of restorative justice in the intent clause:

"...protect, restore and improve public safety" by creating a juvenile justice system that sanctions juveniles and "...in certain cases will also provide the opportunity to bring together affected victims, the community, and juvenile offenders for restorative purposes."

CONNECTICUT: Sec. 46b-121h. Goals of Juvenile Justice System (1999)

States intent in restorative language: "It is the intent of the General Assembly that the juvenile justice system provide individualized supervision, care, accountability and treatment in a manner consistent with public safety to those juveniles who violate the law. The juvenile justice system shall also promote prevention efforts through the support of programs and services designed to meet the needs of juveniles charged with the commission of a delinquent act."

Includes restorative justice language in juvenile justice system goals also:

Hold juveniles accountable for their unlawful behavior

Provide secure and therapeutic confinement to those juveniles who present a danger to the community

Adequately protect the community and juveniles

Provide programs and services that are community-based and are provided in close proximity to the juvenile’s community

Provide follow-up and nonresidential post-release services to juveniles who are returned to their families or communities

Promote the development and implementation of community-based programs designed to prevent unlawful behavior and to effectively minimize the depth and duration of the juvenile’s involvement in the juvenile justice system.

FLORIDA: 985.303: Neighborhood Restorative Justice

Authorizes the establishment of Neighborhood Restorative Justice Centers for operating deferred prosecution programs for first-time, non-violent juvenile offenders. The state Attorney is authorized to establish Restorative Justice Boards who would hear all matters involving the above -identified offenders:

944.026: Community Based Facilities and Programs (statute created in 1974): Authorizes the Department of Corrections to "...develop, provide, or contract for a state-wide system of community based...programs dealing with the rehabilitation of offenders "for the reintegration of the offender back into the community."

948.51: Community Control Programs (enacted prior to 1987): Authorizes the Department to develop and administer community control programs focusing on the provision of sanctions commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.

948.51 (1991) Community Corrections Assistance to Counties or County Consortiums: Purpose is to divert non-violent offenders from prison system by using community-based sanctions.

S 1178: Authorizes a law enforcement agency or school district, with the state attorney to establish a pre-arrest diversion program.

In this state, restorative legislation is found in several pieces of legislation. The specific language of restorative justice is not used. The focus is on community-based actions, diversion, reintegration, and a continuum of sanctions.

Hawaii: House Resolution No. 11 (2000): Relating to Restorative Justice:

Includes brief review of restorative justice philosophy and values. Describes restorative justice as a method to address recidivism and prison overcrowding.

Resolution is that the philosophy of restorative justice should be incorporated into criminal justice thinking and that the practice of restorative justice should be incorporated into current methods of incarceration in order to more specifically address the problems facing our criminal justice system, namely, prison overcrowding and recidivism.

IDAHO: H0032 (1999) Juvenile Offenders, Placement Options

(Amends and adds to existing law to provide the options of the Department of Juvenile Corrections for the placement of juvenile offenders committed to its custody)

Allows the department to provide a continuum of services including community nonresidential placements of juvenile offenders..

Intent clause uses specific restorative justice language: "It is the policy of the state of Idaho that the juvenile corrections system will be based on the following principles: accountability; community protection; and competency development." "…the court shall impose a sentence that will protect the community, hold the juvenile accountable for his actions, and assist the juvenile in developing skills to become a contributing member of a diverse community."

Restorative language is repeated throughout the bill. "..the primary purpose of this act is to provide a continuum of programs which emphasize the juvenile offender’s accountability for his actions while assisting him in the development of skills necessary to function effectively and positively in the community in a manner consistent with public safety."

Set a specific framework for the operation of the Department of Juvenile Corrections:

Provide humane, disciplined confinement to a juvenile offender who presents a danger to the community.

Provide a continuum of services to other juvenile offenders including, but not limited to, community nonresidential placements consistent with the balanced approach to juvenile justice.

Strengthen opportunities for the juvenile offender’s development of competency and life skills by expanding the juvenile’s access to applicable programs and community resources.

Hold juvenile offenders accountable for delinquent behavior through such means as victim restitution, community service programs and the sharing of correction costs

Invoke the participation of the juvenile offender’s parent or legal guardian in assisting the juvenile to recognize and accept responsibility for his delinquent or other antisocial behavior

Develop efficient and effective juvenile correctional programs within the framework of professional correctional standards, legislative intent and available resources.

Provide for a diversity of innovative and effective programs through research on delinquent behavior and the continuous evaluation of correctional programs.

Assist counties in developing meaningful programs for juveniles who have come into the juvenile corrections system but who have not been committed to the custody of the department of juvenile corrections.

Provide programs to increase public awareness of the mission of the juvenile corrections system and encourage public participation in developing an effective juvenile corrections system designed to aid in reducing juvenile crime in this state.

Develop and maintain a statewide juvenile offender information system.

This plan clearly addresses a juvenile justice system structured on the values of restorative justice.

ILLINOIS: S363 (1998) Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 1998

Permits the establishment of community mediation programs to provide citizen participation in addressing juvenile delinquency. The three principal goals of BARJ are stated in the purpose clause of the Act and states that these principals are to "guide the court system as it strives to restore the victim, community, and the juvenile offender to a state of well-being by repairing the harm caused by the crime to these parties." Allows the State Attorney to establish community mediation panels to meet with victims and the youth. Allows the court to order the parents or guardians to take certain actions or to refrain from such actions to serve public safety; develop competency of the minor, and to promote accountability by the minor for his or her actions.

Sec. 5-115: Rights of Victims Gives victims in delinquency cases the same rights provided in the Bill of Rights for Children and the rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act.

Sec 5-130 Part 2: Administration of Juvenile Justice Continuum For Delinquency Prevention: Sets forth the General Assembly’s intent for prevention and early intervention in delinquency cases. Emphasis is placed on community involvement and support of these activities and the need for each county and region of the state to establish a comprehensive juvenile justice plan.

Sec. 5-310: Community Mediation Program: Allows State Attorney to establish community mediation panels to meet with victims, juvenile offenders and their parents in a process to hold juveniles accountable, to restore the victims and the community after injuring them and to offer the juvenile offenders opportunities to develop skills necessary for development as positive members of the community.

INDIANA: S 203 (1999)

Allows the legislative council to determine whether to establish the Juvenile and Restorative Justice Study Commission. If established, the commission will study issues related to juvenile laws and make recommendations to effectively address the rising juvenile crime rate and examine the delivery of juvenile services.


Court is allowed to order a juvenile offender to make restitution to victims of the offense or pay a fine up to $250. Requires the county or district attorney to give notice to a victim, the local law enforcement agency and the school district in which the juvenile will reside prior to discharging a juvenile. No specific restorative terminology and does not address the philosophy in whole

LOUISIANA: RS46:1841-1844: Chapter 21 – B. Rights of crime victims

Outlines specific victim and witness rights including notification, information and referral, input in the court process, victim impact statements, right to seek restitution.

RS46:1905: Powers and Duties of the Department Includes development of diversion programs (within parameters of community safety and child’s well-being)

MAINE: LD 1727, Public Law 421: An Act to Establish and Implement a Pilot Program for Restorative Justice

Proposed to permit a juvenile caseworker to initiate a family group conference to bring about an agreement for an informal adjustment. Part B of bill proposed that on recommendation of the DOC, a probationer would have to appear before and abide by the requirement of a community reparation board.

Enacted law summary:

Limits restorative justice to a pilot program

Changes name of the restorative justice boards for juveniles from family group conferences to community resolution teams

Allows community reparations boards to be established only when federal funding or other special revenue is secured.

Excludes persons who have been convicted of a sexual assault or of a crime of domestic violence from participating in community reparations boards

H 276: Gives victims of a juvenile crime all the rights that a victim would have if the conduct were committed by an adult

MARYLAND: State Statute 3-802

Utilizes restorative justice language in purpose clause…"To ensure that the Juvenile Justice System balances the following objectives for children who have committed delinquent acts:

Public safety and the protection of the community

Accountability of the child to the victim and the community for offenses committed; and

Competency and character development to assist children in becoming responsible and productive members of society.

H 302: Requires victim notification of the right to submit a victim impact statement in waiver hearing and the right to attend waiver hearings.

MINNESOTA: Crime Victims: Rights, Programs, Agencies: Section 611A.775 – Restorative Justice Programs

Allows a community based organization, in collaboration with a local governmental unite, to establish a restorative justice program (uses the term "restorative justice program") Defines what a restorative justice program is (definition is somewhat limited as it appears to require some type of face-to-face encounter) Sets goals for the program which focus on accountability and community reintegration.

Section 388.24: County Attorney (Pretrial diversion programs for juveniles)

Subdivision 2 : "Establishment of program (pretrial diversion). "By July 1, 1995, every county attorney shall establish a pretrial diversion program for offenders. The program must be designed and operated to further the following goals:

to provide eligible offenders with an alternative to adjudication that emphasizes restorative justice

to promote the collection of restitution to the victim of the offender’s crime.

Section 609.125: Criminal Code Subdivision 1. Sentences Available upon the conviction of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor:

payment of court-ordered restitution

to perform work service in a restorative justice program

Subdivision 2: Restitution

payment of compensation to the victim or the victim’s family

if the victim is deceased or already has been fully compensated, payment of money to a victim assistance program or other program directed by the court

Section 609.135: Criminal Code

Allows for stay of imposition or execution of sentence and the ordering of intermediate sanctions as defined as:

"…includes but is not limited to incarceration in a local jail or workhouse, home detention, electronic monitoring, intensive probation, sentencing to service, reporting to a day reporting center, chemical dependency or mental health treatment or counseling, restitution, fines, day-fines, community work service, work service in a restorative justice program, and with the victim’s consent, work in lieu of or to work off restitution,"

SF 184 (1999) : Permits a victim of an alleged delinquent act to request and obtain certain information about the juvenile.

MISSOURI: HB823: Local Sentencing Alternatives for Offenders (1997)

(not sure of what happened with this bill but the intent is comprehensive.)

Authorizes the Director of the DOC to establish a program of restorative justice within its facilities which would require offenders to offer acts or expressions of remorse to victims and community; must include community service work and participation in victim-oriented programs. Also requires DOC to establish local sentencing alternatives to "enable offenders to promote accountability of offenders to crime victims, ensure that victims are included in the state’s response to crime, involve local communities in sentencing options, …" DOC must also "provide training for eligible volunteers and develop specific condition of a probation program….include compensation and restitution, participation in victim offender mediation, impact panels, and community service."

SB0430: Local Sentencing Alternative for Offenders (Effective 8-28-1997) Director of DOC must establish a program for offenders within correctional centers to involve offenders in victim-oriented programs. Must encourage local sentencing alternative for offenders which are intended to "make offenders more accountable to their victims…"

Summary: The first bill (HB823) is very specific and focuses on accountability based sanctions. It contains local sentencing alternatives that promote accountability of offenders to victims and encourages courts to develop reparative probation programs using local volunteer boards. The second bill (SB 430) is not as specific but again focuses on accountability based sanctions, victim and community involvement. Offender competency development is not addressed.

MONTANA: (1997) Title 4, ch. 5, 41-5-102 "Montana Youth Court Act:

Purpose clause includes restorative justice values:

to prevent and reduce youth delinquency through a system that does not seek retribution but that provides:

immediate, consistent, enforceable, and avoidable consequences

a program of supervision, care, rehabilitation, detention, competency development and community protection for youth

in appropriate cases, restitution

NEBRASKA: LB 594 (1999)

Requires the juvenile justice system to promote prevention efforts that are community-based and involve all sectors of the community. Includes in the goals of the juvenile justice system: Holding juveniles accountable for their unlawful acts, stressing the offender’s responsibility to victims and the community, recognizing the importance of education for juveniles in the juvenile justice system, and emphasizing parental involvement and accountability.

NEW MEXICO: House Bill 219: (2000) Effective 7-1-2000

Making appropriations for the purpose of providing an array of services to children at risk of being referred or children referred to the Juvenile Justice Division of the Children, Youth and Families Department.

States the intent to be that a "balanced and restorative juvenile justice system be premised upon the guiding principles of community protection, accountability and competency development."

NEVADA: S 77: (1999)

Permits the court to order a child age 14 or older to participate in a restitution program if he or she never has committed an unlawful act that involved the use or threatened use of force or violence or has not previously committed an unlawful act in another jurisdiction, is ordered to provide restitution to a victim, and voluntarily agrees to participate in a restitution program. Allows the court to order the child or parent or guardian to pay costs associated with participation in the program to the extent of his or her financial ability.

OHIO: Amended Sub. House Bill 3: Section 2151.355 of the Ohio Revised Code (effective 11-22-99)

Addresses disposition options including:

restitution – cash reimbursement, the performance of repair work to restore any damaged property, performance of labor for the victim approximately equal to the value of the property damage, performance of community service or community work and other forms of restitution as devised by the court.

If the court obtains the assent of the victim, require the child to participate in a reconciliation or mediation program.

In crimes of violence, the court orders the preparation of a victim impact statement to be used in determining disposition.

H3 (1999): Victims: Makes an alleged juvenile offender’s name available to a victim. Requires notification to a victim of hearings, dismissal of complaint, detention and release from custody of an alleged juvenile offender for a delinquent act. Requires victim notification if an alleged juvenile offender is committed to the temporary custody of a school, camp, institution or other facility for the care of delinquent children or the custody of the Department of Youth Service

OREGON: OR 419C.001 (1998) Juvenile Code

Juvenile justice system is established on the balanced approach, "the principles of personal responsibility, accountability, and reformation within the context of public safety and restitution to the victims and to the community". Directs the system to provide a continuum of services that emphasize prevention of further criminal activity by the use of early and certain sanctions, reformation and rehabilitation programs, and swift intervention.

S75: (1999) Requires a local citizen review board to review cases of youth offenders in the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority, with focus on public safety, youth offender accountability and reformation in conducting reviews.

PENNSYLVANIA: S6301 (1995)

Reflects the philosophy of balanced and restorative justice: "the protection of the public interest, to provide for children committing delinquent acts programs of supervision, care, and rehabilitation that provide balanced attention to the protection of the community, the imposition of accountability for offenses committed and the development of competencies to enable children to become responsible and productive members of the community."

S 179 (1999): Requires the Commission on Crime and Delinquency to prepare and update every two years a comprehensive juvenile justice plan, based on the state’s needs and problems, including juvenile delinquency prevention.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Section 20-7-20: The South Carolina Children’s Code (1993)

Establishes a children’s policy Includes the duty of the State to encourage community involvement in the provision of all children'’ services. Also calls for agency collaboration

Section 20-7-6840: Community services Includes (among others)

1.Developing public awareness programs and provide technical assistance to local government in the development of prevention programs.

2.Providing a variety of community-based programs such as volunteer services, restitution, community work programs.

3. Providing juvenile diversion programs.

UTAH: Utah Code Section 78-3a-102: Establishment of juvenile court (1988 and amended in 1997 General Session)

Under the purpose section it now incorporates some restorative justice language and philosophy: "Promote public safety and individual accountability by the imposition of appropriate sanctions on persons who have committed act in violation of law; order appropriate measures to promote guidance and control as an aid in the prevention of future unlawful conduct and the development of responsible citizenship

78-3a-118 (also in the Utah Code Section and amended in 1997 General Session: Addresses disposition options including:

Repair, replacement or otherwise make restitution for damage or loss caused by the minor’s wrongful act, including costs of treatment

The court may through its probation department encourage the development of employment or work programs to enable minors to fulfill their restitution obligations

Compensatory community service

In certain cases, a minor may be given a choice to serve in the National Guard in lieu of other sanctions.

H 64: (1999) Creates the Youth Court Diversion Act, which allows juvenile offenders to complete community service in the courtroom as alternative dispositions. Also give victims of juvenile crimes the right to attend hearings and to be heard.

VIRGINIA: 16.1-309.3: Establishment of a community-based system of services (1996) (Part of the Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act – S 345)

Allows any county, city or combination thereof to establish a community based system to provide or arrange to have accessible a variety of pre and post disposition services including:

Diversion, Community service, Restitution, House arrest, Intensive juvenile supervision, Substance abuse assessment and testing, First time offender programs, Intensive individual and family treatment, Structured Day treatment, Structured residential programs, Aftercare/parole community supervision

Community based systems are to be developed in consultation with the district court judge, the director of court services and the community policy and management team. (Encourages collaboration and sharing of resources).

S 886 (1999): Directs the court to require a juvenile delinquent to make at least partial restitution or reparation for any property damage, loss caused by the offense, or actual medical expenses incurred by the victim as a result of the offense. The court also must require the juvenile to participate in a community service project under court prescribed conditions.

WASHINGTON: Title 13 RCW 13.40.500 (1997) Community juvenile accountability programs:

Purpose is stated as, "…to provide a continuum of community-based programs that emphasize the juvenile offender’s accountability for his or her actions while assisting him or her in the development of skills necessary to function effectively and positively in the community in a manner consistent with public safety." This statement is prefaced with philosophy about community involvement in the juvenile justice system and the need for citizens and crime victims to be active partners in responding to crime, the management of resources and in the disposition decisions.

RCW 13.40.510: Community juvenile accountability programs:

Allows local governments to submit proposals that establish community juvenile accountability programs within their communities. Proposals must:

Demonstrate that the proposals were developed wit the input of the community public health and safety networks and the local law and justice councils.

Describe how local community groups or members are involved in the implementation of the programs

Include a description of how the grant funds will contribute to the expected outcomes of the program and the reduction of youth violence and juvenile crime

A local government receiving a grant agrees that any funds received must be used efficiently to encourage the use of community-based programs that reduce the reliance on secure confinement as the sole means of holding juvenile offenders accountable

Guidelines for programs include:

Target diverted and adjudicated juvenile offenders

Include assessment methods

Provide maximum structured supervision in the community

Promote good work ethic values and educational skills and competencies necessary for the juvenile offender to function effectively and positively in the community

Maximize the efficient delivery of treatment services aimed at reducing risk factors

Maximize the reintegration of the juvenile offender into the community upon release from confinement

Maximize the juvenile offender’s opportunities to make full restitution to the victims and amends to the community

WISCONSIN:1999 Assembly Bill 533

Authorizes three assistant district attorney positions to engage in restorative justice planning and implementation in three designated counties and to act as resources for other counties in the development and operation of restorative justice programming.



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