Fairport Police begins restorative justice initiative, adds social worker | WHEC.com

Fairport Police begins restorative justice initiative, adds social worker

Fairport Police begins restorative justice initiative, adds social worker Photo: News10NBC.

Updated: March 18, 2021 05:20 PM
Created: March 18, 2021 10:54 AM

FAIRPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) —  The Fairport Police Department announced it began a new restorative justice initiative that involves a licensed mental health social worker.

In partnership with Roberts Wesleyan College, the department says the purpose of this program is to find "alternatives to arrest" for the betterment of an offender, victim, and, in circumstances, the community.

During a briefing Thursday morning, Police Chief Sam Farina said the department will work with offenders who meet "certain criteria" which includes first-time, non-violent offenders, juveniles, petty offenders, and people with misdemeanors. The social worker will help identify areas of need for the offender and develop strategies like counseling, or work-related services, among other solutions.

Farina said the program is meant to be an alternative to court. Once a program is determined, an offender enters an agreement with the department over several months where they need to meet requirements. 

The Roberts Wesleyan College Criminal Justice Department will also provide research, expertise, and analysts to develop an evidence-based process for this initiative.

Farina said the program will involve the victim, with their approval.

You can view the full briefing in the player below. Or, click here if you're on a mobile device.

According to the Centre for Justice and Reconciliation, restorative justice views crime as more than breaking the law.

It says there are three foundational principles:

  1. Repair: Crime causes harm and justice requires repairing that harm.
  2. Encounter: The best way to determine how to do that is to have the parties decide together.
  3. Transformation: Restorative justice can cause fundamental changes in people, relationships and communities.

It requires offenders to take responsibility for their actions and make their amends.

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