Many restorative justice programs have been launched by people who are passionate and experienced restorative justice practitioners. They were careful to build their programs with great attention to detail and fidelity to best practices. But when they have tried to expand their programs to handle greater caseloads or across jurisdictions, they have faced challenges including cooptation, deviation from best practices, and case management by people who have little experience with restorative justice. This episode explores these and other challenges to scaling restorative justice.
Francisco Carbajal is a turnaround specialist for youth in underserved neighborhoods. He has a gift for diverting at-risk youth away from the juvenile justice system and toward a path to educational achievement and community leadership. In his previous role as the Director at the National Conflict Resolution Center, Francisco successfully implemented the Restorative Community Conferencing Program and the District Attorney’s Juvenile Diversion Initiative Program as part of the organization’s celebrated “Avoiding the Pipeline to Prison” initiative. Francisco founded Peace Anger Love, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which provides Restorative Justice Diversion programs for communities lacking access to alternatives to youth incarceration. He is also a former Commissioner for the Superior Court of California Juvenile Justice Commission of San Diego County. He provides leadership for citizen action and promotes an effective juvenile justice system operated in an environment of credibility, dignity, fairness, and respect for the youth of San Diego County.
Michael Isaku Begert is a Superior Court Judge in San Francisco. He presides over three collaborative treatment courts: Community Justice Court, Drug Court, and Veterans Justice Court. Previously, he served in the following courts: Juvenile Justice, Family, Juvenile Dependency, Civil Trials and Criminal Trials. Prior to joining the bench in 2010, Judge Begert served on the board of directors for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, the Asian Law Caucus, the East Bay Community Law Center, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, and the Asian American Justice Center. He received a B.A. from the University of Washington in 1985, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1989.