The Case That Got Me Hooked on Restorative Justice

There were 10 of us in a large room, sitting in a ring of comfortable chairs encircling a large table. Late afternoon sunlight caught the red hair and freckles of a 15-year-old student (we’ll call her Sarah) as she tilted her head back slightly to keep tears from escaping.

Her parents, our school principal, several students and her boyfriend surrounded me, a teacher, as I began to share how I was affected by Sarah’s actions over the weekend.

I began, “Well, I was the one driving the van from the campsite to the grocery store when Sarah and her friend stole the bottle of vodka...

(the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange is a leading forum for issues of youth justice)