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Balanced and Restorative Justice Project (BARJ)

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1996
2 pages
After describing the features of balanced and restorative justice (BARJ), this fact sheet profiles the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) BARJ Project, followed by OJJDP's vision of the future of BARJ.
"Restorative justice" refers to the principle that when a crime is committed, the offender incurs an obligation to restore the victim - and by extension, the community - to the state of well-being that existed prior to the crime. The principle of "balance" attached to restorative justice suggests that the juvenile justice system should give equal weight to 1) ensuring community safety; 2) holding offenders accountable to victims; and 3) providing competency development for offenders, so they can engage in positive behaviors in the community in the future. OJJDP's BARJ Project provides intensive training, technical assistance, and guideline materials in three selected sites, which have committed to implementing major systemic change to conform to the BARJ model. By the end of 1995, at least 24 States had adopted or were exhibiting juvenile codes or administrative procedures that include the balanced approach or restorative justice concepts. The 14 states that have included BARJ provisions in their juvenile codes are listed. The 11 states that are considering incorporating the BARJ model in their juvenile codes are also listed. Plans for continuing development of the BARJ model and associated technical assistance are described. 5 notes

Date Published: July 1, 1996