RJP Maine expands services, now accepts adult cases in Lincoln County

Wed, 07/27/2022 - 8:15am

    Some adults facing criminal charges in Lincoln County will now have the option to avoid the courts and have their cases resolved through a restorative process facilitated by the Restorative Justice Project Maine.

    Thanks to a $9,400 grant from the Maine Community Foundation Community Building program and a partnership with the district attorney’s office, RJP Maine will accept between five to eight referrals over the next year of cases that otherwise would have proceeded through the criminal system. While RJP Maine has accepted juvenile cases in Lincoln County, this will be the first time the organization will handle adult referrals in the county.

    “This partnership will provide adults living in Lincoln County who have caused harm and those who have been hurt by their actions the opportunity to come together. Those who have been harmed are given the opportunity to have a voice in how to make things right,” said Kathy Durgin-Leighton, RJP Maine’s executive director. “We’ve seen again and again in our work that communities are experts in repairing relationships and charting a path forward.” 

    RJP Maine has been promoting restorative practices in Midcoast Maine since 2005, and now handles dozens of adult and juvenile case referrals a year in all four Midcoast counties, with adult cases already well established in Waldo and Knox counties. The organization also helps local school districts institute restorative practices and holds restorative circles at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center in Belfast. 

    In January, RJP Maine established a new office based out of the Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta and is working with community members and volunteers to launch a Community Justice Hub that will be led by members of a local steering team and experiment with new ways to use restorative justice to prevent crime and grow restorative practices throughout Lincoln County. 

    For more information about the program, contact Drew Himmelstein, Lincoln County Justice Manager at drew@rjpmidcoast.org