Georgia Justice Project (GJP) is excited to announce the launch of Restorative Justice Georgia – the first restorative justice program in the state to address harm caused by felony offenses.
Restorative justice is a victim-centered process that facilitates dialogue between the person responsible for a crime and the person harmed by the crime and creates a path for accountability. Restorative Justice Georgia will work with District Attorneys around the state who will refer eligible cases where the victim of a crime is interested in participating in a facilitated dialogue. Not all cases are eligible, and eligibility will be determined by individual jurisdictions.
As a part of our core mission, GJP demonstrates a better way to address criminal legal issues and serve justice-involved Georgians. We are launching Restorative Justice Georgia as another innovative approach to addressing complex problems within Georgia’s criminal legal system.
The goals of Restorative Justice Georgia are to promote paths that hold responsible parties accountable for harm, give a voice to those affected by harm, bring an opportunity for justice, change, and ultimately healing for survivors of harm and their communities.
Restorative Justice Georgia will train and utilize volunteers to assist with the facilitation process and also to serve as community members who represent the interests of the community as a whole during the restorative conference. You can learn more about volunteer opportunities by clicking here or by reaching out to Erin Donohue-Koehler at Erin@GJP.org.
What is restorative justice?
Restorative justice is a community-based approach to dealing with crime and harm with indigenous roots that centers the voice of the victim. Through a process conducted by trauma-focused, trained and neutral facilitators in a safe and respectful environment, restorative justice examines the harm caused by an offense and seeks to repair that harm by giving victims a chance to express their needs and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. This process allows individuals to make amends to the harmed person and the community, with a focus on accountability, healing, and reintegration.
Studies show that a restorative justice approach significantly increases victim satisfaction with the criminal legal process, reduces recidivism compared to outcomes from the traditional criminal legal system, and responsible parties are more likely to fulfill restitution requirements after engaging in a restorative justice process.
Steering Committee Members
Justice Harold Melton, Partner at Troutman Pepper and former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court
Dax Lopez, former DeKalb County state court judge, attorney at DelCampo Grayson Lopez
Sherry Boston, DeKalb County District Attorney
Dalia Racine, Douglas County District Attorney
Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council
Bert Skellie, Restorative Justice Advocates of Georgia
Georgia Justice Project is seeking volunteers who want to be a part of this innovative new program.
To learn more about the restorative justice approach and how you can be an active changemaker in your community, please contact:
Rami El Gharib, Restorative Justice Program Manager
You can also download or print a PDF copy of our Restorative Justice Georgia flyer for more information on the different kinds of volunteer opportunities available.