Erie County kicks off a restorative justice pilot program to keep local kids out of jail

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County is taking new steps to keep young people out of jail.

Officials kicked off the restorative justice pilot program Friday. It’s an alternative approach to punishment focusing more on repairing harm, rebuilding trust and reducing recidivism.

The program will teach the young offenders about how their actions affect others.

“We’re all trying to keep these young kids out of jail. We’re trying to keep them from getting caught up in the system, where they are now being charged with a gun crime per se or a shooting god forbid. Because unfortunately if these kids get to that level and they get called a gun now or they get involved in a shooting then, unfortunately, I really can’t have Dina get involved. They got to go to jail,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

The DA says three people are in the pilot program.

They’re charged with stealing cars.

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