Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project (LARJP) is a community directed, operated and supported non-profit organization which was established in 2004 by the collective efforts of Roger Lynn, a retired Methodist Minister and Stephanie Haider, a retired Dakota County probation officer. Lynn founded a juvenile offender program in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis, and has extensive training and experience in restorative justice. Haider has initiated, developed and operated numerous restorative justice and victim-focused programs through Dakota County Community Corrections from 1980-2003. Both Lynn and Haider remain as consultants and trainers for LARJP.
LARJP is currently the only Restorative Justice Program in all of Crow Wing County and surrounding counties. Our staff, trainers and consultants have a combined history of more than 70 years’ experience in restorative justice practices and LARJP has provided services to juveniles in Crow Wing County for 13 years. The success of our programs is directly related to the qualified staff and volunteers of the organization.
The core program of LARJP is Restorative Group Conferencing (RGC). RGC provides a forum for juvenile wrongdoers and their families, those victimized by the harm, and their supporters to meet in a safe and respectful environment to discuss the incident. LARJP gets case referrals from the County Attorney’s office and 6 county Police Departments as well as the schools in Crow Wing County. Our program currently serves on average 40-50 cases per year. The RGC process enables those victimized to express their feelings about the impact of the harmful behavior and to get answers to their questions. It helps offenders understand the true impact of their actions on the victim, their family, and the community as well as hold them accountable for the harm they have caused by completing a contract designed by themselves and the victim on how the harm will be repaired. By completing the contract the offender’s record is cleared which allows and empowers them to have a greater educational and employment opportunity as an adult.
“I think this process is more personal and gives both victims and offenders a chance to express their views face to face.”Victim
Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project 424 3rd Street NW Brainerd, MN 56401