An Introduction to the RESTORE Project

Karen J. Bachar, MEZA College of Public Health
Mary Koss, University of Arizona
Q. Hopkins, MEZA College of Public Health

ABSTRACT
RESTORE (Responsibility and Equity for Sexual Transgressions Invoiving a Restorative Experience) is a collaboration of the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault, the Pima County Attorney's office, and the University of Arizona College of Public Health. Together we have identified problems in community response to date and acquaintance rape and nonpenetration sexual offenses including: (1) these crimes are markers of a sexual offending career, yet many perpetrators exit the system with no preventive measures in place; (2) existing criminal justice sanctions are not highly effective at preventing reoffending; and (3) criminal justice system procedures often disappoint and traumatize victims and families. Out identified solution is an innovative, violence prevention program for first time perpetrators based on the community conferencing model of restorative justice. The RESTORE Program (funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is the first of its kind outside of aboriginal settings to deal with selected sexual crimes pre-adjudication, and has the potential to become a national model. Our vision is Justice that Heals; Our mission is to facilitate a victim-centered, community-driven resolution of selected sex crimes that creates and carries out a plan for accountability, repair, and public safety. Our overall goals are to (a) implement the model, (b) gain buy- in from our partners in the community, and(c) evaluate RESTORE to document program implementation and outcomes, with sufficient detail to make replication in other communities possible. The purpose of this roundtable is to share the program and receive feedback from interested participants.

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Updated 05/20/2006