Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program


Fiscal Year 2022 (July 2021 June 2022) Annual Report for the

Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program

Alternative Accountability Program Annual Report FY2020

The Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) is a collaborative community-oriented response to juvenile crime. The AAP is supported by each partner agency and by the Fairfax County Consolidated Community Funding Pool. The program began being implemented across the county in fiscal year 2018. Partner agencies of the AAP are:

  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Fairfax County Juvenile Court Services
  • Fairfax County Police Department
  • Town of Vienna Police Department
  • Herndon Police Department
  • Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services
  • NVMS Conflict Resolution Center

Fairfax County School Resource Officers as well as Patrol Officers, may refer youth who commit select crimes to this program. The AAP uses the principles of restorative justice to achieve three primary goals:

  1. Hold youth accountable for their crimes and behaviors
  2. Provide victims an opportunity to be actively involved in resolution of their case and overcome the harm that has been done to them.
  3. Lower the number of youth entering the criminal justice system.

The program is designed to address critical issues affecting our youth including:

  • theft and larceny
  • property damage
  • disorderly conduct
  • possession of alcohol
  • arson
  • trespassing and
  • harassment

We use restorative justice (RJ) as the core of our approach. RJ is a facilitated dialogue between the people who were harmed and those suspected of causing the harm. The dialogue takes place in a circle setting with a trained RJ facilitator guiding the conversation. Any individual directly impacted by the incident is invited to participate. This may include family members, friends, peers, teachers, school administrators, store owners, property owners, or the referring officer to name a few. Conferences usually result in satisfactory agreements between the offender and the victim to repair the harm. In addition, our studies show a significantly reduced juvenile recidivism rate.

RJ is a safe and respectful process that holds people accountable for their choices and behaviors, while repairing the harm caused by these actions.

How is Restorative Justice Different?

Traditional Justice Restorative Justice
What rules were broken?What happened?
Who broke them?Who was harmed?
How should they be punished?How can this harm be repaired?

What is the AAP Processes?

AAP is a multiple step program that consists of two conferences during which a trained facilitator assists the offender and victim seek an agreement to address the harm incurred by the victim.

Step 1. Pre‐Conference The facilitator will conduct a pre‐conference meeting with each participant to understand their perspective about the incident, their needs, and their willingness and readiness to meet jointly with the other participants. After the pre‐conference(s) the facilitator will evaluate if the needs of the offender
and victim are right for the RJ processes and try to address any concerns that may stop the case from going to the joint conference.

Step 2. Joint Conference After all participants have completed a pre‐conference and the facilitator has deemed the case is appropriate for RJ, the facilitator will schedule a time to bring the groups together for the joint conference. Those groups include, offenders, victims and parents. The facilitators help participants engage in a safe and confidential conversation about the incident of harm. They will assist the participants in constructing an agreement that repairs the harm (as much as feasible) and restores affected relationships.

Step 3. Agreement and Compliance If all participants reach an agreement, the facilitator will document it. All participants will be asked to sign the agreement and commit to fulfilling their responsibilities.

Step 4. Conclusion Once all terms in the agreement have been satisfied, the facilitator notifies the Juvenile Court and the participants. The juvenile will then not have a record of the offense in the juvenile court record system.


Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report for the Alternative Accountability Program

Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report for the Alternative Accountability Program

Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report for the Alternative Accountability Program

Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report for the Alternative Accountability Program

Restorative Justice Services

If you have not been referred by a Fairfax County agency, but think restorative justice would be helpful in your situation, visit our Restorative Justice Services Page or contact Taylor Piepenhagen at tpiepenhagen@nvms.us.