A 10-year-old boy was sent to Restorative Justice along after teaming up with two peers to commit many acts of vandalism and larceny including: spraying graffiti under a bridge, marking an RV with a Sharpie pen, shoplifting energy drinks and candy from a local pharmacy, stealing chrome tire valve stems off cars, and stealing change from unlocked cars. Given the age of the child, the police and elementary school asked Restorative Justice to accept these children who were younger than any they had worked with before.
During the process, several difficulties at home, at school, and in the community were identified. He was out on the street until late hours of the night, because he was afraid to go home to his single parent household with struggling family dynamics. At school, he was having academic difficulties, was not doing his homework, and was fooling around in the classroom, showing off to his friends. He was unsupervised and spending his time on the streets. (Community)
As part of his extensive Action Plan he: Arrived at school every day on time; participated in Little League, since he is enthusiastic about baseball and is good at it. He couldn’t miss a game or practice, and program volunteers attended some of his games; attended an after-school homework program; was referred for a full psychological evaluation and counseling at a local provider; connected with a summer camp that provided male mentoring for boys; made restitution, including $1.98 to the pharmacy for stolen gum, and wrote a letter of apology.
Afterwards, he had bonded so well with the Restorative Justice Coordinator that he didn’t want to leave the Program.