Abby Mueller, Neighborhood Prosecutor, and Evalin McClain, Neighborhood Investigator, both for Kansas City, Missouri’s East Zone, brought together 50 neighborhood leaders for 6 hours of Restorative Justice training, leading to participation in Neighborhood Accountability Boards. The Mohart Center was the site for two Saturday trainings on February 2nd and 9th , facilitated by Diane Kyser and Annette Lantz-Simmons from the Community Mediaton Center and Airick Leonard West, Director Community 360 , and Kansas City Public Schools, Board Chair .
Participants learned theories and skills related to interacting with victims, offenders and other community people, to find restorative ways to make as right as possible the harm that has been done. First time offenders ages 17 and up, once identified by the prosecutor as appropriate for the diversion experience, can choose to participate, with the benefit of moving forward without a permanent record. The Accountability Board provides the chance to talk face to face with the people he or she harmed and to have the opportunity to make it right through restitution and community service.
Through Board participation, neighbors and victims have the chance to tell the offender the real-life consequences of their offense and how it affected them, their families and their neighbors. Often, this depth of participation allows a measure of healing and empowerment moving forward. Through the process, the offender has the chance to become or remain a contributing member of the community. Plans for restitution are co-created and extenuating needs are met through referrals to community services. The Community Mediation Center will initially facilitate the Board meetings and will manage the planning, implementation and follow-up.
KCMO East Zone, Welcome to the Peace Party!
You can join! Go to our website CMC to find out how to volunteer, participate in training or donate.