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  • Ezra Maille

Restorative justice offers alternative to criminal justice system

Julie, a 21-year-old UVA student, was at a bar with her friends when she was physically assaulted. A stranger grabbed the baseball hat off her head, and when she attempted to get it back, he struck her in the face, before fleeing the scene and being apprehended by university police.

After the incident, Julie, who asked that we not use her real name, was referred to the Albemarle Charlottesville Restorative Justice Diversion Program as an alternative to prosecuting her assailant.

According to Tarek Maassarani, the program’s advisor, restorative justice functions as an alternative to the criminal justice system, operating through an agreement with the city and county. Attorneys bring the cases and, along with three coordinators, Maassarani assigns those cases to a pool of facilitators who help harmed and harming participants come to a resolution.

“It’s meant to address the sort of root causes of the harm in the first place,” Maassarani said. “Things that would prevent future harm. It’s meant to address the needs of those who’ve been harmed, what would repair their harm.”

Read the full article on C-Ville Weekly.


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