RALEIGH, N.C. - The Wake County Board of Education has discussed expanding its implementation of Campbell Law School’s Juvenile Justice Project (JJP). The board discussed the potential expansion during a work session on May 19, with JJP Director Jon Powell and Dr. Marrius Pettiford of Wake County Public Schools offering a formal presentation the following day.
The JJP strives to bring conflicted students together in an effort to foster collaborative healing via mediation, rather than specifically seeking punishment. The project aims to discover how students and schools are hurt as a result of disciplinary violations, and seeks to find the best solution to repair the damage that has been done.
“We’ve seen the positive results of restorative justice in the private sector through our work with the Juvenile Justice Project at Campbell Law, and since 2009 we’ve seen similarly impressive results through our involvement with local schools,” said Powell. “We have enjoyed a very successful relationship with Wake County Public Schools for several years now, and we hope to expand our reach by increasing the use of restorative practices in schools.”
The program has addressed 229 cases across seven Wake County public schools since 2009. The public school incarnation of the JJP uses mediation to address disciplinary violations between students, with the institution’s principal having the authority to adjust outcomes as necessary. Principals can refer students to trained Campbell Law students enrolled in the JJP, who then work to mediate and resolve conflicts via restorative practices.
The JJP wants to expand its services through the use of ‘circle process,’ in which students and teachers gather in a circle while a trained circle keeper steers the conversation. The process is used to address an assortment of disciplinary concerns, while participants are provided with emotional support and encouragement.
The program is currently seeking additional funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant would allow for an expansion of the program, serving more schools and allowing for a study on disciplinary outcomes as a result of program participation.
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Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law School has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. The school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 3,650 alumni, including more than 2,500 who reside and work in North Carolina. In September 2009, Campbell Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in downtown Raleigh. For more information, visit http://law.campbell.edu.
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