Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced the launch of a victim-centered, pre-filing diversion program for youth.
“This program will help repair the immense harm that criminal behavior inflicts on our community by giving crime victims the opportunity to actively participate in the restorative justice process,” District Attorney Gascón said.
“While victims cannot generally attend the juvenile court process, through restorative justice, we can give crime victims a chance to be a meaningful part of the process to determine appropriate restitution and resolution,” said Jessica Ellis, executive director of Centinela Youth Services and the Everychild Restorative Justice Center.
Eligible candidates may avoid criminal charges by agreeing to participate in an individually tailored program designed to address the underlying issues that contribute to criminal behavior, such as mental health needs or substance use.
Community-based service providers will assess participants, connect them to immediate needs services, prepare them for restorative justice conferences with crime victims and monitor the completion of the agreed-upon terms of their program.
Victims and survivors will have a voice in determining participant agreements while also having an opportunity to be heard and healed in a meaningful way.
The Restorative Enhanced Diversion for Youth (REDY) program will provide services to youth under the age of 18.
This restorative justice model has proven to support public safety and community healing.
It also addresses racial disparity within the criminal legal system and mass incarceration by diverting young people, whose brains are still developing, away from jails and prisons, increasing their likelihood for rehabilitation instead of recidivism.
Submitted by: Pamela J. Johnson, District Attorney Public Information Officer