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Touchstone seeks renewed contract for restorative justice program
The providers of a restorative justice program aimed at youth, is seeking a three-year extension to its contract which costs the city $95,000 annually.
Touchstone Family Association delivers the Restorative Justice Program, which is an alternative to the court system and emphasizes accountability and problem-solving as a way of addressing the harm done during a criminal incident.
In a report presented to city council’s community safety committee on Tuesday, senior city manager Anne Stevens wrote that the program’s goal is to “provide an alternative approach to the courts that places emphasis on accountability and problem solving as a way of addressing the harm that takes place when a crime or incident occurs.”
Over the past six years, an average of 39 referrals have been made to the program, costing local taxpayers about $1,850 per youth offender.
“The contract with Touchstone Family Association to administer Richmond’s Restorative Justice Program is a service delivery model that strengthens the social health and independence of families and children in our community through effective intervention and support services,” Stevens wrote.
“This alternative service delivery model to the court system addresses the harm that takes place when a crime or incident occurs, and ensures accountability.”
Touchstone first entered into a three-year agreement with the city in 2008, with the contract renewed in 2011.
If approved by council, the next agreement would run from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2016.
Touchstone executive director Michael McCoy could not be reached for comment.