SALINA – An estimated 25 percent of juvenile criminal court cases in Saline County were referred to the Salina Initiative for Restorative Justice to be resolved through victim-offender dialogues.
Offenses ranged from theft and property damage to school fights and disorderly conduct. SIRJ mediators observed a heightened level of anxiety about school and social situations connected to the pandemic.
Youth who successfully participate in the program and complete the required restitution receive diversion from criminal prosecution.
Grant funds paid mediator stipends and helped cover the cost of mediator education. Grant funds also assisted with expenses related to public outreach about the program.