Balanced Approach / Restorative Justice (BARJ)
Harborcreek Youth Services has established a mandatory program that implements the requirements of the Balanced Approach and Restorative Justice criteria, hereinafter referred to as BARJ. This program is stipulated by legislation, interpreted and required by county programs and tracked as a measure of outcome by juvenile courts.
Complete, detailed and accurate documentation is maintained relative to each probation client’s participation in BARJ. All Units and staff facilitate the activities and functions of the BARJ program. Standards and requirements of BARJ apply equally to all campus and community-based Units.
The benefits of service projects far exceed the monetary value of the work performed. Service to others builds self-esteem, forges bonds with the community and promotes mental health.
Community service typically begins at placement and is required of all probation clients. Each client is expected to perform a minimum of two hours of community service each week.
Community service hours are defined as follows:
- Community-based: Any activity, project and/or service that benefits a community, individual, or group and for which the client is not reimbursed
- Non-community-based: Any activity, project and/or service on Harborcreek Youth Services property that generally benefits other clients, staff, or the agency and for which the client is not reimbursed. Community service does not include activities, projects or services for which the client is reimbursed or that involve basic care and maintenance of the client's personal living environment.
When a court order has been issued or a written directive is provided by the placing county, agency, juvenile court, juvenile probation, advocate, or children and youth staff stipulating restitution, Harborcreek Youth Services cooperates in facilitating activities and projects through which the client can earn money to be applied to restitution. Restitution is most often a court-ordered stipulation with which Harborcreek Youth Services must comply.
Restitution is ongoing throughout placement unless restitution is paid in full or is rescinded by the placing agency or court of jurisdiction. Harborcreek Youth Services clients pay on average almost $800 per month in restitution.
The following organizations or locations were among the beneficiaries of services performed by our clients during the past few months:
- Harborcreek Township Fire Hall
- Erie City Mission
- Sarah A. Reed Retirement Center
- Washington Park
- ANNA Shelter
- Presque Isle State Park
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Scott Park
- Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania
- Waldameer Park Rainbow Gardens
- Wesleyville Conservation Club
- Habitat for Humanity
- Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home
- Bayfront Connector
- Saint Benedict Education Center
- Tom Ridge Environmental Center.
For more information about community service or restitution activities, contact Len Lombardo, Director of Service Delivery, at (814) 899-7664, Extension 307.