The Mid-City Community Advocacy Network (MCC) conducted an HIA to inform proposals by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the San Diego City Council to try to improve the outcomes of juveniles in the justice system by adopting “restorative justice.” This means creating opportunities for victims and offenders to discuss the crime and its residual effects, and for the offender, victim, and community to seek a joint resolution. The Board of Supervisors proposed that the Probation Department adopt this model as an alternative to incarceration. The City Council proposed using it as an alternative to allowing the city’s Police Department to continue to arrest youth. The HIA found that restorative justice can have a positive impact on the health of both juvenile offenders and the community through a reduction in recidivism, an increase in perceptions of safety, and better family and community cohesion. MCC proposed that San Diego evaluate the impact of Restorative Community Conferencing—a restorative justice technique that encourages community ownership of, and involvement in, repairing a harm and its residual effects in high-crime neighborhoods and increasing community awareness of restorative practices.
This project was supported by funding from The California Endowment.