BEL AIR — The Harford County Community Mediation Program (HCCMP) has initiated a new restorative justice program for youth in Harford County through a partnership between the nonprofit Community Conferencing Center and the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.
The program will offer community conferencing as an alternative for young people involved in crime and other harmful behavior. HCCMP is seeking volunteer facilitators to guide participants through the process; training will be provided.
Community conferencing empowers the community of people affected by an incident, including victims, offenders and supporters, to collectively decide how to best repair the harm and prevent future occurrences. Because all stakeholders are included in decision-making, compliance averages 95 percent and the recidivism rate for youth offenders is 60 percent lower than in the juvenile justice system statewide, according to the Community Conferencing Center.