LAMS students impose justice

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

The 2012-2013 school year found Los Alamos Middle School implementing the beginning stages of a program called Restorative Justice.
The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, with help from Los Alamos County. funded the work with training in 2005, led by the Los Alamos Community Health Council.
The cases were criminal in nature and generally referred by the Juvenile Probation Officer.
According to JJAB Coordinator Ellen Ben-Naim, “LAMS is implementing a Restorative Justice program to address conflicts before they escalate into situations involving criminal offenses,” she said. “We felt like the program would be more successful if several members of the LAMS staff were trained in Restorative Justice.”
The program is designed to handle conflict by allowing everyone in the room to be heard, while allowing the offender to admit responsibility, accept group sanctions and end by regaining a place in the community.
This month, training was designed not just for those interested in the handling issues locally, but to those interested in the CYFD offering from across the state.
Approximately 45 attendees representing Silver City, Lordsburg, Raton, Luna, Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Rio Arriba and Taos attended the daylong event.

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