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Modeled after the New Zealand Family Group Conferencing model, Restorative Community Conferencing (RCC) involves an organized, facilitated dialogue in which young people, with the support of family, community, and law enforcement, meet with their crime victims to create a plan to repair the harm done. It is most effective with serious crimes in which there is an identifiable victim, such as in the case of robbery, burglary, car theft, assault/battery, arson, and teen relationship violence.

Eligibility criteria for enrollment in a restorative justice process vary among programs. Some jurisdictions interested in reducing racial and ethnic disparities may target crimes that young people of color are most often incarcerated for, such as robbery, larceny, and assault, whereas others make eligible any offense that could otherwise result in incarceration. Ultimately, the eligibility criteria for a particular program will depend on the agreement between the applicable jurisdiction’s district attorney and probation offices and the organization carrying out the restorative process.


The Place Matters project is housed at the Justice Policy Program within the Cutler Institute at the Muskie School of Public Service, which is located at the University of Southern Maine and is supported by a collective of funders including: The John T. Gorman Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Rocking Moon Foundation, the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group, and the Maine Economic Improvement Fund.

We send out a monthly e-mail in collaboration with the Maine Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at the University of Maine School of Law with news and information about the future of youth justice in Maine. Sign up to receive the newsletter and check out previous months by following the link below:



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