Courts and Police Departments are among the most active supporters of Restorative Justice. Police Chiefs understand and support its premise, its aims and processes. Members of the police department understand the school or community culture to which they are a part.  Where school systems have adopted restorative approaches to behavior problems that minimize the use of law enforcement intervention, they work collaboratively and proactively in a problem-solving partnership.  In court processes, judges set their own referral criteria. They can refer those offenders who come before them whom they feel will benefit from the program. The best agencies know that when their officers share a real connection with the people in neighborhoods, they can become great public servants. 

Police officers graduate their academies with an undaunted sense of duty and responsibility to the public. Restorative Justice gives them additional tools they need to accomplish their goals … to make a difference to society. They receive ongoing training, provide meeting space, participate in the “circle” process, and coordinate with KCRJ personnel throughout each case.

Participating police departments utilize the restorative justice option to: 

  • Respond to the needs of victims who seek a voice in the justice process.
  • Provide an intermediate response between letting someone “off the hook” or launching full criminal prosecution.
  • Retain police officer involvement in cases to hold people accountable constructively.
  • Strengthen police relationships within the community.
  • Police departments retain a level of involvement in the case after deferral is made. 
  • Police officers consult with staff on referrals.
  • Police officers sit in on Opening and Closing circles which take place at the referring department (unless the victim prefers another venue).
  • A quarterly Police Council may convene to discuss KCRJ policy and practice.
  • KCRJ staff periodically report back to Police Chiefs on cases to track trends.
  • Cases can be sent back to the department if the victim is unsatisfied with the process, if the offender is not taking responsibility, or if the safety & wellbeing of the parties cannot be guaranteed.


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Conversations are underway about how KCRJ can best serve the courts and police departments of Kentucky.  Please contact us to express your interest or suggestions.  Until we’re all working together as a community to make improvements, frustration, incarceration and court costs will continue to rise.  We look forward to working with you to implement a proven alternative.

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