This two-part series examines the CYS restorative justice program revolutionizing the justice system.
In California, year after year, thousands of children are lead down a career path of criminal behavior in large part due to the failure of our punitive justice system. Children who enter the juvenile jail system are 60% more likely to become repeat offenders and therefore more likely to enter the prison system as adults. Contrasting punitive programs, restorative justice programs that follow a model of behavior intervention and victim-offender mediation, pioneered by Centinela Youth Services (CYS), are successfully reducing recidivism rates and the number of children serving time in juvenile jails. The overall effect is positive for the children, the victims, and the community at large by stopping the cycle of crime before it begins - guiding the child to re-evaluate their actions, meet their victims and make better choices in the future.