Like the ideal of justice itself, restorative justice programs serve all qualified youth in the greater Cape Fear, regardless of need, circumstances, background, neighborhood, ethnicity, or creed. No child 11-18 years old is turned away who meets admission requirements; in fact all are given every opportunity to succeed.
Most triumph, regardless of their challenges. Success stories include children with special needs, kids who may have fallen victim to gang involvement, or have drug charges, those who have committed larceny or assault, others with weapons charges, but also students who simply did not know that their actions violated the law. At-risk youth, too, have found empowerment by way of restorative justice, despite their circumstances.
It is inspirational enough that kids who complete these programs don’t reoffend, but one is inspired even more by why they don’t.
Why would they upon learning that their decisions have far reaching consequences, even if they’d believed they were only affecting themselves? Why would they when they learn that their time is so much better spent in the service of others? And why would they after building the self esteem that comes from taking personal responsibility for their behavior?
And why would they want to compromise the elevated pride their families feel for them, for their display of growth and of character.