BUILD’s 4th conference shows impact of restorative justice

BUILD’s programs have had a dramatic impact on the 2,100 youth it serves, data from the agency showed.

Of them, 84% have stopped or reduced incidents of fighting and 61% of those in gangs left them or are in the process of leaving them within the last year. And 14% of youth involved in the court system were rearrested from 2022 to 2023 after working with BUILD – in contrast to the national average of 55%. 

The figures came as part of the group’s fourth annual restorative justice conference May 31. More than 100 people attended the conference, which discussed reframing the criminal justice system to focus on offender rehabilitation and healing, rather than punitive measures. 

Founded in 1969 on Chicago’s West Side, BUILD offers violence intervention, education, community wellness and engagement. More than 40% of its clients live in Austin, and 14% live in Garfield Park. 

“We’re here to explore the transformative potential of restorative practices in police accountability and strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve, particularly on the West Side,” said Alexandra Auguste. She moderated the breakout session on police accountability and is co-founder and executive director of Community Leadership Fellows, a leadership development organization on the West Side.

Read the full piece from Austin Weekly News here.

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