Yellow Medicine County is currently looking for Volunteers for their Circle programs. We have three different types of Circles operating out of the Restorative Justice Department: Circle Sentencing, Family and Community Circle, and Circle of HOPE.
The Circle Sentencing process involves members of the community participating in the actual sentencing process for youthful offenders. The Circle will meet with the youth and their support people on a regular basis typically every other week. The victim(s) may also become involved if they wish; and together, the circle, the youth, and possibly the victim, will work to establish goals that will not only rehabilitate the youth but also restore them to their community, building skills that will ensure lasting positive change.
The referrals for the Family and Community Circle come directly from Family Services or the Court after a child protection report or child welfare concern has been reported. Family and Community Circle is a strength-based process to enhance the ability of families and communities to keep children and families physically and emotionally safe and unified. Acting thru the Circle, community members and family members play an equal role in encouraging and assisting families to identify and enhance their strengths while searching for solutions.
Most recently, Circle of HOPE was developed in the community of Granite Falls. Circle of HOPE provides a community strength-based process to help persons in recovery (from alcoholism/addiction) make a safe and healthy transition to their community upon completion of treatment. The Circle balances support with accountability for those in recovery, helping them maintain sobriety and assist them in making amends.
It is important to note that participation in all of the Circles is completely voluntary on the part of participants, whether they are children, parents, or community members. Without the commitment and volunteerism of the community, Circles would not be as successful as they are today. Many people in the community are concerned about crime and the impact it has had on our neighborhoods, schools, and businesses. The Circle Sentencing process allows citizens of the community to directly participate in attempting to reduce crime and negative juvenile behavior, help support victims, and restore youth to their communities. While it is strictly a voluntary effort, it offers the potential for a very personally enriching experience while also providing a great service to the community.
If you are interested in volunteering, they are asked to please contact Sharon Hendrichs, Yellow Medicine County Restorative Justice Coordinator at 320-313-3028 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org