What is the Juvenile Review Board (JRB)?
Juvenile Review Board (JRB) diverts juvenile offenders from the juvenile justice system and engages youth having attendance and behavioral challenges in school and the community. This program is ideal for either first-time offenders who have committed a misdemeanor or who qualify under the Family with Service Needs (FWSN) statute and youth who are second time offenders who are included on a case by case basis. The JRB program provides youth, who take responsibility for their actions, an opportunity to avoid going to juvenile court and/or being suspended by accepting supportive case management. Youth are engaged by a group of volunteer community members that include law enforcement, school personnel, service providers, their victims, and their parents/guardians.
Community Volunteers benefit by engaging with young people, offering understanding, and listening to the circumstances which led to crimes – circumstances like absenteeism, having no social activities, mental health, disengagement, and financial hardships.
When volunteers share their input, we work together as a unit and offer a platform that allows these families a chance to speak with others who are willing to assist them.
Restorative Justice model:
UCA implements Balanced and Restorative Justice as the conceptual framework, based on specific values and principles, that defines and guides the activities employed to translate these values into practice. Restorative justice provides an alternative to the punishment and offender rehabilitation approaches to delinquency, although it does not eliminate the appropriate use of confinement and treatment.
These are the 11 key principles of the Balanced and Restorative Justice philosophy which provides the framework for the New Haven/Hamden JRB:
- Crime is an injury.
- Crime hurts victims, communities, and juvenile offenders and creates an obligation to make things right.
- All parties should be a part of the response to the crime, including the victim if he or she wishes, the community, and the juvenile offender.
- The victim’s perspective is central to deciding how to repair the harm caused by the crime.
- Accountability for the juvenile offender means accepting responsibility and acting to repair the harm done.
- The community is responsible for the well-being of all its members, including both victims and offenders.
- All human beings have dignity and worth.
- Restoration or repairing the harm and rebuilding relationships in the community is the primary goal of juvenile justice.
- Results are measured by how much repair was done rather than by how much punishment was inflicted.
- Crime control cannot be achieved without active involvement of the community.
- The juvenile justice process is respectful of different cultures and backgrounds—whether racial, ethnic, geographic, religious, economic, age, abilities, family status, sexual orientation, or other—and all are given equal protection and due process.