Restorative Justice Circle ProgramRestorative Justice Circle ProgramRestorative Justice Circle Program

Community Restorative Circle (CRC) Program Overview

The Community Restorative Circle (CRC) is a community based, Court operated diversion program designed to provide an alternative response from the juvenile justice system for first time misdemeanor offenders.  Community Restorative Circles address the victim’s needs and harms, hold the offender accountable, and factor in the community’s concerns.  Community volunteers provide juveniles with the opportunity to repair the harm done to their victims and to make a positive contribution to their own community. (CRC) acts as an arm to the Court bringing together the juvenile offender and his/her parent(s), the victim, and members of the community.  The participants discuss the offense, ask questions, and make decisions as to how the offender should take responsibility for his or her actions. These decisions are made in the form of an agreement to be signed by all parties involved.  The Community Restorative Circle and Juvenile Court staff then monitor the juvenile’s progress.  Successful completion of this diversion process results in the youth not having a formal court record.

Does it Work? 

Similar programs have been used with great success in numerous cities, such as St. Louis, Chicago and Oakland (CA), and have demonstrated significant reductions in the numbers of repeat offenses and delinquent behavior by juveniles.

Become a Community Restorative Circle Volunteer

Restorative Justice Circles are comprised of trained community volunteers who understand the issues facing at risk youth in Franklin County and have attended a new volunteer training, successfully submitted to a criminal history check, child abuse/neglect screening and personal interview. The program coordinator oversees the process.

Eight hours of initial training is required, with additional training sessions as needed. Each Restorative Justice Circle meets one evening per month from 6:00 – 8:00pm.

Restorative Justice New Volunteer Training

No Training Scheduled

Upon completing the training, you can be assigned to circles serving the communities of Westerville, North Linden, South Columbus, Near East Columbus, Far East Columbus, Milo Grogan, and Franklinton.  You do not have to live in those communities to volunteer for a circle.  For now, you can participate from home;  due to COVID, circles are held via Zoom, and this will continue into 2022.

For more information on the Franklin County Juvenile Court Restorative Justice Circles Program, please visit:  https://drj.fccourts.org/DRJ.aspx?PN=Restorative_Justice_Circles.htm

For more information regarding the United Way of Central Ohio’s involvement in the program, please visit:  https://liveunitedcentralohio.org/agency/restorative-justice-circles/   


Community Restorative Circle Locations

The existing Community Restorative Circles that are up and running are located in the areas of esterville, North Linden, South Columbus, Near East Columbus, Far East Columbus, Milo Grogan, and Franklinton. There are plans to expand to the Far West Side/Hilltop, Far East side and Grove City.


Community Restorative Circle Partnerships  

Franklin County Juvenile Court partnered with the United Way of Central Ohio to make (CRC) a reality. United Way supported the incorporation of the volunteer training in partnership with the Neighborhood Training Academy at United Way of Central Ohio.  In addition, the United Way Neighborhood Partnership Center has served as a resource for volunteer recruitment, engagement and training.