The Restorative Justice Project (RJP) Maine announced in a news release the launch of a Community Justice Hub in Lincoln County.
Community Justice Hubs are the next chapter in furthering restorative ways of being with local citizens, promoting long-term cultural practices to build safe communities where each person knows that they matter. Funded by a four-year grant from the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Byrne Center for Justice Innovation in rural areas, the Lincoln County Community Justice Hub will be housed in a new office in the Central Lincoln County YMCA and managed full-time by Drew Himmelstein, Lincoln County community justice and harm repair manager.
Founded in Belfast in 2005, the mission of Restorative Justice Project Maine is to promote justice that is community-based, repairs harm, and creates safety and well-being for all. RJP Maine, in partnership with local volunteers, has offered facilitation of harm repair opportunities between juveniles and those they have harmed in Lincoln County since 2013. With the support of volunteer mentors, 94% of juveniles complete the agreements they make with those they have harmed.
The Community Justice Hub is the next step in this work. Starting in the spring, members of the public will be invited to participate in listening circles that will help determine the needs of the community and the future areas of focus for the Community Justice Hub. RJP will then assemble a diverse steering team to guide the Community Justice Hub, with the hope that those who have experienced crime, those who have experienced the criminal legal system and those who have participated in restorative justice processes will consider joining.
Working with a data analysis partner at the Cutler Institute within the Muskie School for Public Service, the steering team will review the best available data – both qualitative and quantitative – on safety and belonging and will generate and enact strategies to promote safety and belonging in local, measurable ways.
For more information, or to receive an invitation to a listening circle, contact Drew Himmelstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-2598. To learn more about Drew and the Restorative Justice Project, go to rjpmidcoast.org.