COMMUNITY POLICING, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
With an emphasis on collaboration, legitimacy and transparency, the Harrisonburg Police Department incorporates Restorative Justice (RJ) into policing. Acknowledging that crime causes harm, police officers and other members of our community collaborate in a Restorative Justice Circle to focus on repairing that harm. This calls for restoring trust, and healing the relationships of the individual harmed and those affected by the harm. Restorative Justice is part of the culture and practice of policing that reflects the values of protection and promotion of the dignity of all.
Taking part in a RJ Circle is entirely voluntary, and dependent upon the full participation and collaboration of all individuals involved. A RJ Circle includes:
- Recipient of harm (victim): actively involved in the reparation of harm they've experienced.
- Author of harm (offender): submits themselves to accountability; taking responsibility by demonstrating their willingness to repair the harm they have caused.
- Community members: impacted by the harm; family, neighbors, friends, co-workers.
- HPD officer: impacted by the harm; also gives attention to the impact on the police department.
- Trained Restorative Justice facilitator (typically two): keeps the Circle and guides the process
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE (RJ) TRAINING FOR OFFICERS
To ensure the high quality and effectiveness of police training, all newly hired HPD officers receive specific Restorative Justice education, learning how to discern referrals and participate in a Restorative Justice Circle. Ongoing RJ in-service training is also provided to command staff and field officers.
WHO CAN MAKE RESTORATIVE JUSTICE REFERRALS?
Adults and juveniles can be referred to the HPD Restorative Justice Program by a police officer, victim, offender, court services, judge or community member. All referrals are first reviewed by a committee of professionals which includes the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. If approved the case is sent to one of HPD’s service providers for facilitation.
To make a referral or receive more information about the Restorative Justice Program, please contact:
Lieutenant Rod Pollard, Restorative Justice Coordinator
Harrisonburg Police Department
101 North Main Street, Harrisonburg VA 22802
To find out how the program works locally and globally, use the below files and link.
Article: The Citizen, May 2019 -"City's groundbreaking restorative justice program offers second chances and accountability as alternative to criminal charges".
Article Part II: The Citizen, July 2019 "More accountability than I've ever seen in a court." How restorative justice is embedded in the Harrisonburg Police Department"