Justiceworks is a non-profit community justice organization dedicated to the advancement of programs and practices that secure right relationships between offenders, victims, and their communities. “Rightness” in relationships implies safe, equitable, and respectful treatment for all with regard for individual differences and the need to repair harms suffered. Justiceworks seeks to incorporate evidence-based practices into traditional responses of the justice system for more effective justice outcomes.
Justiceworks incorporated in May 2004 following more than two years of planning by 110 volunteers who contributed more than 550 hours to conceive a new vision and develop the framework for a community justice organization. Today, a Board of Directors leads the corporation with a membership who represent the following sectors: business, clergy, community/housing, justice coalition, law enforcement, legal, higher education, schools/youth, service, treatment, invested citizens (offenders, victims, citizens at large) and both rural and urban communities.
Mission and Goals
The mission of Justiceworks, Ltd., a non-profit community justice organization, is to foster forms of justice that strengthen and heal the communities of Portage County. Volunteers from Justiceworks respond to justice issues within our communities through evaluation, proposals and actions for change. Over 100 volunteers are actively involved in Justiceworks community justice efforts including:
- Offender Mentoring and Reentry Services
- Family Law Information Center for pro se assistance
- Education on justice issues for schools and communities
- Coordination of community services to the justice system
- Community involvement in sentencing issues
- Other forms of justice which pursue similar goals
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice emphasizes the ways in which crime hurts relationships between people who live in a community. Crime is seen as something done against a victim and the community—not simply as a violation against the state. Crime may be any wrong, even a non-criminal offense that weakens relationships between people or harms community living. In Restorative Justice, the offender becomes accountable to those he or she has harmed.