Unfortunately, this highly effective practice is seldom used for youth who commit violent offenses. As this example demonstrates, the true potential of the restorative process to transform individuals, relationships and communities is frequently best realized in instances where the most harm has occurred. I applaud former councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector for being a true caretaker of her constituents by pursuing the most effective rehabilitative process — one that required empathy and “acts of loving kindness.”
My hope is that jurisdictions learn from Ms. Spector’s example and look to adopt and nurture restorative processes to respond to all youth offending.
Sarah Bryer, Washington, D.C.
The writer is executive director of the National Juvenile Justice Network.