Autumn is an MSW student at the University of Maine, Orono. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Thomas College, also located in Maine. In her free time, Autumn spends as much time as she can outdoors - hiking, fishing, and gardening (just a few of her favorite hobbies). Autumn has lived in Waldo County her whole life and she cherishes the small-town feel that the community holds strongly. Waldo County community members have helped her and her family in a variety of ways throughout her life and Autumn strives to give back and help others while working with RJP Maine.
RJP Maine is so grateful to have Autumn with us; she is not only intelligent and kind, but her empathy runs deep. She has been and will continue to work closely with Sarah Mattox (RJP Maine Program Manager/ Community Resolution) in a variety of ways such as data management and assisting in organizing training, but Autumn is especially interested community resolution and hopes to become a facilitator or mentor.
Did you know, that the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department operates an initiative called the *Alternative Sentencing Program (ASP) for individuals charged with non-violent offenses, such as Operating Under the Influence?
The program is offered twice each year. Rather than serving time in a jail facility, judges can sentence eligible participants to serve their time in a secure group at an alternate location, such as a local camp facility. There, they participate in daily community service and educational programs. The programming includes a variety of topics, such as addiction recovery, mindfulness, positive choices, and impact on others. RJP Maine participates in the ASP education program by offering a two-hour segment on restorative justice. Participants get an introduction to a restorative circle format, an overview of the philosophy of restorative justice and related topics such as growth mindset, and an overview of RJP's work in Lincoln County.
"At the end of our time together, we did a round of reflection on what the group found to be interesting takeaways from the ideas of restorative justice. The concept of shame versus guilt came up several times, as well as growth mindset. Wrestling with "I did something wrong" (guilt) versus "I am wrong" (shame) seemed like useful concepts -- along with the idea of growth mindset, that mistakes literally make our brain grow, and we actually need mistakes in life to learn and grow."- RJP Maine Facilitator, Leigh Anne
For more information call 207-922-3898
*ASP used to be run by Maine Pretrial and was run in multiple sites and formats around the state. However last year, Maine Pretrial decided to give it up and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department took it on.
Penny Linn became involved with the Restorative Justice Project Maine in 2009 after retiring from Winslow Middle School as a guidance counselor. Bringing her sense of adventure, get it done attitude Penny engaged in all facets of the organizations work throughout her time as a school trainer and board member.
Penny was introduced to RJP Maine while at Winslow Junior High School (WJHS) when Margaret Micolichek, representing the Restorative Practices Collaborative of Maine was invited by Penny to discuss what it would take to bring restorative practices into the school. Her goal was to offer training to teachers on circle practices that focused on relationships with students as well as between students in the classrooms and beyond. In addition, she worked with the administrative disciplinary team to implement restorative interventions to better support students through difficult times, provide learning opportunities and avoid suspension or expulsion.
Shortly after her retirement, Penny joined the Restorative Practices Collaborative of Maine as a trainer. As a member she was invaluable, she understood circle practice and could speak to the struggle of changing school culture to becoming more restorative. She trained with the team for about three years. In the spring of 2011, most likely on the tennis court, Penny was recruited by Jay Davis (her tennis buddy and former member of the RJP Maine board) to join the RJP Maine’s Board of Directors.
As a board member Penny was someone who got things done. She liked it when decisions were made and things could move forward. Never wanting to be the fundraising board member she used her networks to support the organizations through thick and thin times. Her commitment and generosity shone throughout her 9-year tenure with the board.
Penny, although not far from us will be greatly missed at the table and in those board meetings!
Travel far and wide Penny, wishing you all the best!
The images below were taken in Swanville, ME., at RJP Maine's appreciation circle for Penny! Penny was gifted a talking piece, a driftwood etching of an owl created by a local artist.
October 15, 2020
Contact: Jenna Golub, firstname.lastname@example.org 207-505-5458
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Pilot Launches to Address Community Mental Health, Substance Use and Interpersonal Conflict.
“We have handcuffs and guns and maybe some pepper spray but that’s what we’ve got for tools - but many of the calls we receive are about conflict, mental health, substance use or poverty. This pilot is about trying to resolve the issues, at their core, so that it doesn’t continue to circulate or to grow.”
-Chief Deputy Jason Trundy, Waldo County Sheriff’s Department
The Restorative Justice Project Maine (RJP Maine), in partnership with Health Equity Alliance (HEAL) and the Waldo and Knox County Sheriff’s Departments, announces the launch of the innovative pilot project- LEAD. Focused on addressing the root causes of harmful behavior through local and personalized support and accountability, LEAD is designed to provide law enforcement officers with the capacity to deflect individuals to community-based programming in lieu of summons or arrest. Further, it also provides officers with the opportunity to make ‘social contact’ referrals in instances where concerning behaviors have not escalated to the level of a crime.
The LEAD initiative, while officially kicking off on October 1st of this year, has been almost a year in the making. In November of 2019, representatives from each of the partner organizations, along with District Attorney Natasha Irving, were honored to attend the second national Police, Treatment and Community Collaborative Conference in Ponte Vedra, Florida. This conference provided representatives with the opportunity to learn from other communities who were further along in their deflection/ diversion efforts. Inspired by this conference, a collaborative team formed and has managed the planning, research and design of LEAD. Representatives from each of the partner organizations include: RJP Maine's Community Resolution Program Manager, Sarah Mattox; HEAL’s Harm Reduction Manager, Ashley Brown; and Chief Deputies of the Waldo and Knox County Sheriff’s Departments, Jason Trundy and Pat Polky, respectively.
Under the auspices of this pilot, HEAL is providing a full-time targeted case manager in both Waldo and Knox Counties; the purpose of targeted case management is to connect willing individuals with resources and support. This could include recovery support, mental health treatment, employment or daily living resources such as food, transportation and shelter. The individualized case management plans will be designed in cooperation with the participating individual and will be specific to the needs and goals of that individual. The overall goal of targeted case management is to connect individuals with resources in order to promote independence, stability and dignity while reducing contact with the legal system.
Within the context of this pilot, RJP Maine will accept referrals to their long-standing Community Resolution Program from officers -- and from the public -- to address incidents of interpersonal harm, conflict and crime through use of a facilitated restorative justice process. Built on the values of self-determination and fairness, restorative justice engages those most affected by an incident or concern into a voluntary process called a restorative conference. In a restorative conference, parties work together to review what happened, share who was affected and how, and collaborate to assemble a repair agreement that articulates what needs to be done to make things as right as possible and to prevent something like it from happening again in the future. This process has a 94% rate of agreement completion, and 97% of people who have been harmed indicate that they found the process helpful and would recommend it to someone else in a similar situation. Through this process, it is often possible to come to an understanding available only when one party can hear the perspective of another and participate directly in articulating what action(s) is necessary.
According to the National LEAD webpage, the goals of the LEAD program are to:
This pilot provides the additional complementary opportunity for officers to divert to restorative justice, either as a stand-alone or in addition to a referral for case management services, and intends to maximize effectiveness of community diversion by providing support to people who have been harmed in order to promote opportunity to care for and repair harm to damaged relationships thus improving community well-being.
Those interested in learning more about this initiative or wanting to make a referral are encouraged to contact RJP Maine or one of the partner organizations referenced above. More information about LEAD can be found on RJP Maine’s website, rjpmidcoast.org.
“RJP Maine is pleased to be part of this alternative approach where the community steps in to address harmful behaviors and conflicts without getting the courts involved. This begins a reimagined justice system where, rather than relying on punitive measures, individual lives and communities are healed and transformed.” -Exec. Director Kathy Durgin Leighton, RJP Maine