Community Post

Restorative Justice Pilot Project in the East Precinct – Will this approach help to end nuisance crime?


 First Hill’s Jim Erickson writes,

“In a recent conversation with my son we recalled stupid things that we each did as young adults. There is something about an immature mind inhabiting an adult body. I said that my worst fear was that he would be arrested and be locked up as a lone innocent among hardened criminals. For the first time, now that his son entered college in August, he understands my fears.

In this morning’s Seattle Times there is a report that two men, age 20 and 21, purchased some spray paint in an Art Store and proceeded to paint the City blue. The two men were booked into King County Jail. I feel the pain of the families who are learning about these arrests.

“Yesterday, I was one of a hundred people who formed a circle in the Garfield Community Center and began to learn about Restorative Justice. This was an Experimental Workshop & Planning Session for an East Precinct Pilot Project. Our convening questions were: How will a community/police restorative justice program as an alternative approach to crime, conflict and accountability foster resilient, empowered, safe and connected communities? How can we co-create this in the East Precinct of Seattle? How do you want to play?

Tony Marshall explains that “Restorative justice is a process whereby the parties with a stake in a particular offense come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offense and its implications for the future.”

How can citizens of the East Precinct utilize the Restorative Justice practices?  Is it possible to establish and restore right relationships among a community harmed by crime and the person/s causing the harm?

Andrea Brenneke, East Precinct resident and Director of the newly established City of Seattle Restorative Justice Initiative, will be our guest presenter at this Thursday’s EastPAC (East Precinct Advisory Council) meeting. Plan to attend and hear about this practice.  It may be the solution you need to decrease the chronic nuisance crime on your neighborhood!

 East Precinct Advisory Council Community Meeting

Thursday, September 26th, 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Seattle University, Chardin Hall, Room 144

1020 East Jefferson

Enter campus at 11th and East Jefferson – Park free in the lot in front of the building


Thank you to Seattle University for their partnership


and generous donation of our meeting space!



5 thoughts on “Restorative Justice Pilot Project in the East Precinct – Will this approach help to end nuisance crime?

  1. Wouldn’t it be restorative if these children had to work – at minimum wage – to pay for full restoration of the damage they did?

    • Yes, although they first must understand the impact their ‘damage’ (non-violent) had on the victim. Juvenile Probation has programs through their Community Programs Unit where juveniles do work for minimum wage and pay restitution. I’m not certain about adults charged with these types of crimes This conversation addresses understandings between both those causing the harm and those harmed as a starting point.

  2. I think that even beyond crimes, that some of these strategies could help communities come together around misunderstandings or mis-communications. Those types of situations usually are not about who is right, but being able to empathize with each other.

  3. The new title and spin makes me want to puke. “Restorative Justice”. What a bunch of new age spew.

    I suppose the question is whether we can impart a sense of empathy on the offender. Others will add the need to impose empathy on the victims as well. I don’t mind some continued efforts to socialize young folks who suffer from negligent or absent parenting/families. But Restorative Justice is a weird and creepy flush of goody goody busy body freakishness. Who ever came up with it needs to be locked in a padded cell right away. And then have pins stuck under their toe nails. Honestly, I might barf (TM ‘SHITbARF).

    A basic justice system where proportional punishment, restitution, and publicity are generally sufficient. Normal people don’t re-offend if they are punished or shamed. If restitution is possible it should be required.

    Follow this restorative justice thing and you’ll end up asking a rape victim to talk with and understand the feelings driving the rapist and hope they can kiss and make up.

    Keep justice simple. If people can’t understand consequences and continue to offend – then lock the up or send them to Austalia.

  4. I hope that any such change in the administration of justice will be certain to record convictions of those who did in fact commit crimes. I can see allowing for alternative sentencing that confessed criminals can get an alternative sentance that benefits the community.

    What we don’t want is to have offenders get off with a nod and no record of their problems. Have a look a the mad man that shot up the Navy yard in DC. Several missed convictions and missed mental health commitments. The alternatives need to show convictions, allow for minor proportional sentencing that benefits the community. And restores standard sentancing for repeat offenders.