Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Changing the ways of young offenders-- that's what authorities with the Department of Juvenile Justice hope to do with a new program unveiled on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday there was a ribbon cutting ceremony at DJJ's Broad River Road complex as officials announced the implementation of a program called Balanced and Restorative Justice, or BARJ.
The program allows young offenders to collaborate with their parents, the victim and officers to come up with solutions to their crimes.
Officials say getting offenders involved in their own restitution and having them come face to face with their victims will help the community in.
"We need to bring the young person in front of his victim so that victim can tell them, 'this is what you've done to me, this is how it affected me, this is how it impacted me, this is what I have to live with because of what you did,'" explained Andy Broughton, the director of Restorative Justice. "And as they hear that, some empathy starts developing. So it's an accountability factor."
Some of the other solutions include volunteering, victim impact classes and after school programs.
Officials say the BARJ program is used in other DJJ facilities across the country and that the results are positive.
For further information about the program, click here.