We are working on a pre-court youth restorative justice-based diversion program as an alternative to locking youth up. Our goal is to create a program that, instead of going to court and being sentenced, youth can do a diversion program that uses restorative justice to address the harm and transformative justice to address the system that led up to the harm in the first place.
This work was born out of our work in Tempe’s Peoples Budget campaign; we found people wanted to reduce our reliance on police but also felt like alternatives did not exist. We are building a pilot program that will exist to reduce recidivism, the need for prisons at all, and create deep healing at the root cause.
We first visited programs that currently exist like this in Oakland and Seattle. After seeing what was possible, we came home and received trainings in restorative justice and conflict resolution to begin to hold these spaces.
In September of 2021, we brought together a group of community organizations with specialties in restorative justice and/or work with youth in the community to help us build the policy. We are hosting youth focus groups and building a youth steering committee to guide us as we implement a path toward restorative justice and freeing the youth from incarceration. To get involved, please use our contact form below.