UTSA Presentation Explores 'Restorative Justice' as Sentencing Alternative

UTSA Criminal Justice Professor Robert Rico

UTSA this evening offers the public a detailed look at the concept of "restorative justice," an increasingly popular, community-based crime intervention strategy for dealing with young, first-time and non-violent offenders, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Restorative justice brings together the accused, the victim, and trained mediators to explore the reasons for a crime along with its effects and consequences, in order to arrive at an appropriate punishment, make victims "whole," and begin the criminal rehabilitation process immediately, possibly avoiding incarceration in the process.

"Now is sort of the time where people are looking for alternative approaches to help reduce crime, help student retention in schools and that school-to-prison pipeline," say UTSA Criminal Justice Professor Robert Rico, who will conduct the seminar.

The strategy has proved effective with pre-teen and teenage offenders and has been employed locally at North East ISD's Ed White Middle School, as well as most visibly during the administration of former Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood.. 

"I think here in Texas,we're like eighty percent of the prisoners are school dropouts,so there a relation there that people are realizing we that need to sort of address," Rico says.

The restorative justice workshop starts at 5 p.m. at the John Peace Library on the UTSA Main Campus.

PHOTO: UTSA Criminal Justice Prof. Robert Rico this evening will host a public presentation at the school's John Peace Library on employing "restorative justice" as a community tool to deal with youth, first-time, and non-violent crime. Photo courtesy UTSA

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