VOA Today: VOA-RJL Acquisition
We believe a vital way to serve families is effective outreach to young people who have contact with the criminal justice system. How can we serve these families? We are committed to finding ways forward for young people and families to makes amends to victims while finding futures without spending time in detention or incarceration.
Under the leadership of Libby Mills, Restorative Justice of Louisville is an exemplary program that reaches these goals every day and we are so proud to welcome Restorative Justice to the Volunteers of America family. We are so pleased to welcome Libby and the Restorative Justice of Louisville team as VOA’s newest program.
As a part of VOA, the program has a new name but the same vision. Together, we’ll focus on making amends and repairing harm. Traditionally, the criminal justice system asks what laws have been broken and what punishment is deserved by the offender. Restorative Justice asks what harm has been done, who is responsible for repairing that harm, and how can that harm be repaired?
The Restorative Justice process allows victims of crime to participate more fully in the resolution of the offense that has been done – with a focus on seeking solutions and making amends. Restorative Justice has an impressive record in Jefferson County that demonstrates that young people who participate in the process are less likely to commit a future offense and that victims of crimes feel more fully engaged in a process of true restoration.
As a program of Volunteers of America, Restorative Justice of Louisville is now Restorative Justice. This name reflects our desire to take the great work that is already being done in Louisville and making it available to as many communities as possible in Kentucky.
The effective outcomes that Restorative Justice has achieved for nearly ten years will continue – but with more reach and resources. Together, we will work to stop youth from reoffending while making victims feel more whole. We will confront the overcrowding crisis facing our prison system and youth detention centers. And we will save taxpayers’ dollars – every single year-long detention for a youth in Kentucky currently costs more than $70,000. Restorative Justice is vastly more affordable – and more effective.
We look forward to sharing more details about Restorative Justice and VOA’s goals for the program as 2020 moves forward. We know this partnership will promote VOA’s mission of creating positive change for the families and communities we serve.