Working Together for Youth

The Alternative Accountability Program

County agencies have partnered with the non-profit Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS) to create a cutting edge model for restorative justice: the Alternative Accountability Program (AAP). The AAP integrates the restorative justice initiatives of the county’s police department, juvenile court, public schools and community service agencies.

Those working with juvenile offenders agree on the program’s positive results. One probation officer commented:

“The Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) has allowed for low level offenders an opportunity to avoid formal court intervention without jeopardizing public safety. These juveniles are held accountable for their behavior as well as repairing the harm that was done to their victims. The police department can use AAP so that youth in Fairfax County are given an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Lastly, it has empowered the victims to have a voice in the harm that was done to them.”

Fairfax County can expect to reap increasingly positive results ever more efficiently, as the AAP continues to grow. In 2017, AAP will expand from its pilot stage of only including 200 schools and 3 police districts to including all 8 of the Fairfax County police districts and the Fairfax City police.

Read the full article by Megan Johnston and David T. Teal in ACResolution Magazine by clicking here.