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County News & Press Releases

Posted on: July 31, 2020

Press Release - Office on Youth Receives Department of Criminal Justice Services Grant Award

Orange County, VA – The Orange County Office on Youth is happy to announce they are recipients of a Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) grant in the amount of $18,450 to provide local facilitator training for the Thinking for a Change and Restorative Justice Programs as well as consultations to help start our own Restorative Justice Program.

The programs of choice are both designed to help our youth/young adults make better decisions and see different points of view, however, our availability of providers in Orange is either extremely limited or non-existent. A quick overview of the programs are as follows:

1. Restorative Justice is a program aimed to repair the harm caused to a victim by the offender. The program reinforces accountability and restitution and gives the victims a voice if they choose to participate. It also strives to develop empathy from the offender for the victim as the victim can express how the crime affected them and their personal and professional life. Furthermore, law enforcement and others involved in the crime are present in the session in order for the offender to see the full picture of how everyone is affected by their choice.

2. Thinking for a Change is an evidence-based program cognitive-behavioral curriculum developed by the National Institute of Corrections. This program concentrates on changing the criminogenic thinking for offenders and includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and the development and maturing of problem-solving skills. By learning these skills and/or enhancing them, this program allows the participants to take control of their lives, make positive decisions, and have different reactions to difficult life challenges that will arise. Some of the lessons include Recognizing Risk, Knowing Your Feelings, Stopping and Thinking, Stating the Problem, Thinking of Choices and Consequences, Responding to Anger, Understanding the Feelings of Others and more. These lessons will address the needs of our referred youth and ideally prevent them from their continued maladaptive and detrimental behavior, which caused them to get into their troubles.

It is the intention of the Orange County Office on Youth to recruit training participants for both programs in order to start in-house programs and/or help local providers add these much-needed programs to their current offerings. Trainings are tentatively going to be held November/December 2020 for Restorative Justice and April/May 2021 for Thinking for a Change. We are extremely excited about this opportunity and more information will be made available once training sessions are scheduled. 

For additional information, please contact the Office on Youth at (540) 672-5484.


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View the Official Press Release