Last week West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill creating many reforms for juvenile justice. The bill includes a reference to restorative justice programs. In 2007, I returned to formal education at the Center for Justice and Peace at E.M.U in Harrisonburg and earned an M.A., with a concentration in restorative justice. During my nearly thirty year career, I have served as an assistant prosecutor in both Berkeley and Kanawha County, and in private practice, represented many criminal defendants. Following my studies at EMU, I found that restorative justice offers a great deal of potential in addressing harm that stems from criminal wrongdoing.
While my days working with the West Virginia legislature are behind me, I have had the chance to review the bill that Governor Tomblin signed. Like most bills, certain provisions work well, but other areas fall short. This post includes my short review of the bill: the good, the bad and some ugly.Read More