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On July 1, 2012 the Dispute Settlement Center (DSC) merged with RYASAP, the Regional Youth-Adult Social Action Partnership. Over the years, DSC had collaborated with RYASAP in a number of ways working with several units of RYASAP on juvenile justice issues. This merger is the culmination of months of discussion and strategic assessment during which it became clear that in order to achieve the desired changes for our communities DSC’s conflict resolution services needed to be easily combined with other key elements, such as youth outreach and advocacy for systems change in our schools and criminal courts. "

Restorative Justice

In 2012, the Dispute Settlement Center (DSC) merged with, and is now part of, RYASAP’s newly formed Restorative Justice Division.

The Restorative Justice Division works to reduce damaging conflict which leads to crime and violence. Studies have shown that mediation and other restorative dialogue techniques reduce recidivism.

The Restorative Justice Division has helped thousands of people resolve disputes over the years with over 90% of those who come to the table reaching an agreement on how to move forward.

The areas we work in include:

School & Youth: Our “Conflict Resolution for Schools & Youth” program supports a growing network of schools and after-school facilities with improving their skills and systems for restorative conflict resolution. The Restorative Justice Division provides a range of services such as trainings, workshops, mediation and best practice sharing.

Crime Prevention: The Restorative Justice Division provides services to the Juvenile Courts in western Connecticut helping with Juvenile Court cases. Through the restorative dialogue process, offenders are held accountable for their actions, and victims and their families have a unique opportunity to participate in the justice system. The Restorative Justice Division also provides trainings and workshops on conflict resolution for staff in agencies serving those in the criminal justice system.

Juvenile Review Board

RYASAP’s Juvenile Review Board (JRB) is now part of RYASAP’s newly formed Restorative Justice Division.

The JRB is a diversion program offered to youth in Bridgeport who have committed minor delinquent acts or youth who are displaying at-risk behaviors at home or school that could result in a referral to the juvenile court.

The JRB consists of police, Juvenile Probation Officers, parents, youth and other community members and offers youth programs and support including counseling, mentoring, community service, pro-social activities and letters of apology to the victim or other involved parties.

The JRB accepts referrals from the police and probation for youth who have committed non-violent misdemeanor acts and from the school system for status offenses (such as truancy or defiance of school rules).School Staff, Click here for our school referral form 

As part of the newly formed Restorative Justice Division, JRB youth have easier access to mediation as an intervention. Historically, mediation has helped JRB youth understand and repair the harm done to their communities and has proven to be an effective long-term component to the JRB process.

StreetSafe Bridgeport

StreetSafe Bridgeport brings new hope, promise and movement to our most at risk youth. Gang/group violence and gun violence is far too prevalent amongst our city’s youth and now is the time to create movement and change so that the violence can end.

StreetSafe Bridgeport provides a way for our young people to move away from the violence and toward safe, healthy and productive futures. SteetSafe takes a universal approach placing highly trained Outreach Workers who are dedicated to developing face to face, consistent connections to proven risk youth in order to interrupt conflict and guide them toward resources such as jobs, housing, mental health and educational opportunities.

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What’s Up? Restorative Justice News & Updates

Update: JRB Continues to Provide Support for Youth

For the past 8 years the Bridgeport Juvenile Review Board has served over 500 youth and effectively diverted an additional 400 youth away from court by engaging them in community service, mediation, pro social activities and other worthwhile endeavors.  Approximately 70% of the youth kept in the community were discharged successfully from the program.  Of the youth who successfully completed the JRB program, roughly 82% did not re- offend following their discharge.

This continued progress is possible due to the continued support from the community and dedicated staff, interns and volunteers who work with the JRB.  We welcome our newest members of the JRB support team, Jess, Lisa and Angelique.

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RYASAP’s Conflict Resolution Division Making Great Strides

RestorativeJustice-ConflictResolutionIn addition to the progress of StreetSafe, RYASAP’s Conflict Resolution division has been making great strides. Since July 1, 2013 over 60 cases were referred to mediation by the juvenile courts we serve. Our team is gearing up for the Young Mediators workshop which we host yearly. We are looking forward to hosting 40 to 50 area youth and working with them to build their conflict resolution.