Tag: restorative justice
One month into new role, criminal justice planner finds ways to affect change — even amid a pandemic
A reverence for comprehensive data, a belief in transformational justice over punishment and a willingness to listen to area stakeholders before taking action are all in J. Frank Sottaceti’s toolbelt as he steps into the newly-created role of Criminal Justice Planner for the city of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
The waning days of the year offer an opportunity for reflection — a quick check of what happened in the previous 12 months and how the community changed for better or worse. Of all the stories The Citizen published in 2019, these were the most shared, read and buzzed-about of the year.
‘More accountability than I’ve ever seen in a court.’ How restorative justice is embedded in the Harrisonburg Police Department
On a bright fall afternoon, Officer Jason Hensley was on patrol, riding through Harrisonburg in an unmarked cruiser with a trainee officer at the wheel. Hensley had rolled down the passenger side window to take in the cool breeze and casually draped his arm against the outside of the door. The car had just passed a wooded area when Hensley heard a sharp crack.
City’s groundbreaking restorative justice program offers second chances and accountability as alternative to criminal charges
Pierre Mbala and two friends were headed to get pizza on an overcast, chilly Thursday in late March, 2018. On the way, they stopped at a convenience store for a soda or maybe some candy, and to taste the freedom that comes with being 17.
The courtroom was chilly as participants in the afternoon hearing on a recent Thursday trickled in. Some were alone, others entered with partners and family members. But this wasn’t like many other court proceedings, marked by tension and conflict.
Police chief wants officers to better connect with the community. Here are some ways he plans to do it.
As Harrisonburg Police Chief Eric English outlined his policing philosophies and answered questions from about 30 community members at his first town hall meeting Monday, he kept returning to a central theme.
‘Real change’ — JMU students and halfway house residents team up to craft stories of hope and redemption
Male residents of the Gemeinschaft Home — a halfway house — created powerful songs and emotional messages after teaming up with JMU music and social work students. The result was Story Table, in which many of those stories and songs were shared Monday night at Merge Coffee Co. and Bowl of Good.