Campbell Law School

The Juvenile Justice Project

“All lawyers are titled ‘Attorney and Counselor at Law.’ Campbell Law prepared me as an attorney. The Juvenile Justice Project trained me as a counselor. I learned not only how to resolve conflicts but also how to help heal lives.”
Luis Maradiaga - Campbell Law Class of 2014

Campbell Law School boasts a rich and storied tradition of developing lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, professional competence, and a view of using the practice of law as a calling to serve others. The clinical programs at Campbell Law help students to build upon and practice that calling, and the Juvenile Justice Project (JJP) has allowed students to make a tremendous impact in the local community.

JJP is a collaborative effort of the North Carolina Governor's Crime Commission and Campbell Law. The program receives referrals from juvenile intake counselors, juvenile court, teen court, and the local school system for juveniles who have been accused of criminal activity or disruptive behavior. 

Professor Jon Powell, a 1998 graduate of Campbell Law, serves as the director of the program. In late 2011 he was appointed to the juvenile planning committee of the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. As a committee member, Powell plays a role in advising Governor Beverly Perdue on all issues of juvenile crime across the state, as well as where federal dollars should be applied to address issues within the state. 

JJP strives to bring victims and offenders together in an effort to foster collaborative healing, rather than specifically seeking punishment. Campbell Law students engage all involved parties in dialogue to address the specifics of a violation, how it occurred, why it occurred, and what happened as a result. The project aims to discover how people and communities are hurt as a result of crime, and seeks to find the best solution to repair the damage that has been done. 

Approximately 85 percent of cases referred to the JJP are successfully mediated, resulting in both parties coming together for a face-to-face meeting to address and satisfy their needs as a result of the incident. Less than five percent of juveniles that successfully completed the process between 2004 and 2010 reoffended, while 25 percent of juveniles that did not complete the process later faced other charges. 

“Our students learn a great deal of what I think the true calling of a lawyer is, and that is to help people find the best solutions to serious problems,” said Powell. “Hopefully we do this in a way that makes us all better for having gone through the process.” 

Campbell Law students that participate in the project take a semester of class instruction, learning about the traditional juvenile legal system, restorative justice, and the skills needed to perform successful face-to-face meetings in actual cases. Students then serve as facilitators for the clinic, bringing injured parties together and working to obtain positive results for both sides. 

In 2007, JJP was recognized by the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission as one of its leading programs for “Outstanding dedication and achievement in service to the community in the area of Juvenile Justice.”  In 2011, the JJP and Campbell Law hosted the third National Conference on Restorative Justice and attracted leading scholars, practitioners and participants in the field of restorative justice from around the world. 

The process of victim/offender dialogue is carried out as follows:

  • Referrals are received by the JJP from a juvenile intake counselor, district attorney, juvenile judge, teen court administrator, or school personnel
  • JJP contacts both the offender and the victim to schedule initial meetings with the parties
  • JJP meets with the offender and the parents or guardians
  • If appropriate, JJP schedules and meets at a later date with the victim
  • If appropriate, JJP schedules and meets with both parties in a face-to-face meeting
  • If an agreement is reached, JJP reduces the agreement to writing and reports the results to the referring party
  • JJP monitors the agreement to ensure fulfillment by juvenile
  • Upon completion of agreement, charges are usually dismissed against the juvenile
Jon Powell
Campbell University School of Law
225 Hillsborough Street, Suite 302
Raleigh, NC 27603
Fax: 919-865-5997