Your support will help OurRJ manage at least 6 Children Requiring Assistance (CRA) cases in 2017. Though noncriminal proceedings, CRA cases are often a pathway for young people into the juvenile justice system and in some instances, the outcome of cases may sadly be the termination of parental rights. In contrast, OurRJ uses our unique restorative justice model to provide families with a space for honest dialogue, collaborative problem solving and comprehensive, long-term services.
CRA cases are often a pathway for young people into the juvenile justice system. Although these are noncriminal status offense, cases are filed in the juvenile courts. Yet, because these cases may emerge out of complex family/school conflicts, the court system is often ill-equipped to address them and may instead end up unnecessarily criminalizing youth behavior rooted in self-preservation. Often the final outcome of a case sadly may be termination of parental rights or juvenile justice custody
Our restorative justice process is an alternative approach for CRAs which seeks to minimize deeper court involvement. Healthy relationships at school and home are amongst the most crucial aspects of youth development. Our process empowers those involved to collaboratively problem solve outside the court system. When all parties (especially youth) voluntarily enter circle and are given an opportunity to speak openly about experiences, needs and to discuss a path forward, lasting change can occur
Our CRA model represents an important step in our long-term strategy of disrupting the school to prison pipeline at the systemic level, by proactively addressing pathways into the juvenile justice system before delinquency occurs. Despite the hesitancy of many judges to sever parental rights or to put youth in the "care" of the Department for Youth Services, those are too often the outcomes for CRA cases. OurRJ's CRA model will be able to play a major role in mitigating this corrosive system.