Investing in Restorative Justice!

Last night an amendment was passed in our Ulster County Budget to allocate an additional $100,000 to the Restorative Justice & Community Empowerment Center. There has been some confusion about the need for this money, so we would like to ensure this is clear. The Restorative Justice Center funding is going to benefit our young people, and not adults.

The justification for the amendment says: “A community based Restorative Justice program will be implemented to expand the scope of Restorative Justice beyond programs for youth who have had police contact. In this program: community building circles, police relations circles, intergenerational circles, school based circles will provide a foundation for our community to reap the benefit of a process of being together to collectively work for our own betterment.”

Budgets are always about priorities. This moment is important because it shows that our legislature is prioritizing restorative justice for our children by voting to invest an additional $100,000 in Restorative Justice. This means that our program will be stronger to help the children of our community.

The next steps will be to decide how to best use these resources to provide strong Restorative Justice Programs for Youth in our community and not just implementation of the Raise The Age.

If you or your children has been impacted by the School To Prison Pipeline, please stay tuned - we are hoping to coordinate a public forum with the County Executive’s office so that people can get answers to the questions they have about how this center can help their children.

Callie Jayne