A Restorative Approach to Accountability for Juvenile Crime
The Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) uses Restorative Justice (RJ) conferencing to engage first-time offender youth, ages 10-17, in a facilitated process focused on accountability and repair of harm. Here are a few of its successes since the initial AAP pilot in 2014:
- Recidivism rate of 7% as compared with statewide average of 49% for juvenile crime;
- Victims have a voice in the outcome;
“I enjoyed that there was a plan to ensure accountability for his actions… This program is great because it allows me to have an input on what happens.” – a participant evaluation comment by a store worker addressing a shoplifting issue through AAP
- Youth who complete AAP don’t have a court record, saving them from potential lifelong consequences of having a record and its potential impact on high school graduation, college admission, scholarships, employment, and future public service; and
- This summer, NVMS and its partners in the Fairfax County Police, Juvenile Courts, Schools, and Neighborhood and Community Services, expanded the Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) Countywide and added the Police Departments of Vienna, Herndon and the City of Fairfax as partners.
With your help, NVMS is tackling youth crime and the school-to-prison pipeline in Fairfax County. We are helping youth take responsibility for their actions and repair harm done to victims. We are keeping eligible kids out of the criminal justice system while reducing future offenses.