Webinar: Pre-Charge / Pre-Booking Restorative Diversion: Spotlight on Oakland, California
Restorative Community Conferencing (RCC) offers a promising way of addressing youthful wrongdoing, with its ability to reduce recidivism, satisfy victims of crimes, and increase community involvement. After an incident has occurred that would normally result in criminal charges or a school disciplinary process, RCC offers a voluntary opportunity for dialogue. During the RCC, the young person, victim, family, and community members discuss the crime, its causes and effects, and produce a consensus-based plan for the young person to make things right by their victim, family, community and self. Alameda County’s RCC’s program is the first of its kind and scope to address serious youth crimes in a major US urban area with an explicit goal of reducing racial disparities in diversion and incarceration while producing concrete data. This program, housed at the Oakland-based organization, Community Works West, has been successfully diverting up to 95 youth per year away from the juvenile justice system. Community Works West’s RCC Director, Yejide Ankobia, and Restorative Justice Project program associate, Sia Henry, will lead a webinar on the RCC model, RCC in Alameda County, and strategies for replicating the approach in other communities nationwide.
Yejide Ankobia is the Restorative Community Conferencing Program Director for Community Works West, in Oakland, Calif. She coordinates and runs a victim-focused diversion program for youth, working with the District Attorney’s offices in both San Francisco and Alameda counties. Prior to her years at Community Works, she was the Restorative Justice Schools Coordinator for Hayward Unified School District, as well as a Restorative Justice Trainer and Consultant with SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Berkeley, Calif. As the Dean of Restorative Discipline and School Culture at Castlemont High School in East Oakland, Calif., Yejide worked in collaboration with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), building and running a model program in collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District. Yejide acted as trainer and coach to educators in Oakland Unified School District’s three-tiered model of Whole-School Restorative Justice. A certified yoga instructor, Yejide has created workshops combining the benefits of somatic movement and RJ. Yejide spends her down time with her nine-year-old exploring local hiking trails and playing Lego Batman on the PS4.
nuri nustrat is dedicated to working with people whose lives are affected by the criminal legal system. For the past two years, she collaborated with communities across California to implement pre-charge restorative justice diversion programs. These programs attend to victim-identified needs and support young people arrested for crimes through processes that upholds the humanity and dignity of all affected. nusrat travels throughout California to offer trainings on facilitating restorative community conferences and circle process. Prior to this, at the Federal Public Defender Death Penalty Project, nusrat assisted attorneys’ presentations of their clients’ life histories. In the past, she also worked on cases regarding people denied disability benefits, people facing removal from the U.S., and on record expungement. In recent years, she has been learning about community responses to child sexual abuse. nusrat’s family history inspires her to empathize with and support people harmed and people who have done harm. nusrat holds a J.D. from American University and an M.A. in ethnic studies from San Francisco State University.