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Program redirects youth from criminal justice system

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, at podium, introduces a pilot program to divert young people receiving municipal citations into restorative justice programs Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, in Madison, Wisc. Also visible from left are Madison Municipal Court Judge Daniel Koval, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Neighborhood Intervention Program director Andre Johnson, behind Parisi, and Dane County Timebank co-director Lorrie Hurckes. (Ed Treleven/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi introduces a pilot program Tuesday to divert young people receiving municipal citations into restorative justice programs. (Ed Treleven/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Dane County has announced the creation of a program to divert juveniles in Madison who get municipal citations to a restorative court rather than having them enter the criminal justice system.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Madison Police Chief Michael Koval and YWCA Executive Director Rachel Krinsky announced the program Tuesday in Madison.

Dane County, according to a news release, received a $208,000 grant for the program, which aims to reduce racial disparity and connect youth to services and their communities. The grant was from the Brighter Futures Initiative and Early Intervention Program.

The program would divert youth 12 to 16 years old beginning Sept. 15. They will be held in the court services unit of the Milwaukee Police Department, according to a news release, and the citation will not be processed as an arrest. Instead, the youth will be placed into either a peer court or restorative court.

Results of the pilot project will be reported to the Wisconsin Department of Children and families.

About Erika Strebel, erika.strebel@wislawjournal.com

Erika Strebel is the law beat reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal and a law school student at UW-Madison. She can be reached at 414-225-1825.

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