Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75Ę | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Ė Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : news : county/state news
June 17, 2019

4/27/2019 7:30:00 AM
Building safer communities
Northwoods Restorative Justice aims to hold offenders accountable, give victims answers
Abigail Bostwick
Of The Lakeland Times

Commit a crime, go to jail.

Northwoods Restorative Justice, Inc., however, looks to "revisioning justice," the rehabilitation of offenders via reconciliation with victims and the community.

It's a potentially more affordable and viable alternative than bars which teaches responsibility and rehabilitation, notes new NRJ executive director Cookie Lough.

"Our main focus is we want the victims and the offender to get together," Lough said. "The offender takes responsibility for their actions and the victims get closure. They can say what they went through, (the offender) says they're sorry, and everyone can go on with their lives in a peaceful manner."

NRJ offers victims a voice in deciding how to right a wrong, Lough added. Through cooperation, communication and collaboration, an outcome favorable to all parties can often be reached, she said.

"Making a turnaround," Lough said of what she hopes offenders take from the program. "Going on with their lives in a productive manner."

The goal is to settle matters out of court while a contribution is made to the community, officers take an active role in their rehabilitation and victims find relief in a safe setting.

"We want to keep them out of court," Lough said. "For victims, it eases the tension. It can help reduce that fear. They can question them, and go on from there."

Referrals come from law enforcement, courts, social services, schools and communities. Typical cases are minor crimes such as vandalism, property crimes, theft, disorderly conduct and bullying.

While juveniles are most commonly the target of such programs, the opportunity for the NRJ in Oneida and Vilas counties exists for offenders of all ages.

NRJ itself has been in the area since 2002 with the mission to build "safer and stronger communities by implementing programs and practices that acknowledge the impact of crimes on victims, hold offenders accountable for their actions and promote healing, restoration and reintegration." It is funded by counties and donations.

Around 20 to 30 people go through NRJ each year, Lough said.

The approach also is more cost effective than jail and prison, Lough said. Cost of incarceration for a year in state prison for one person is $32,000, $18,000 for a year in jail, $8,000 per month for juvenile correction and $6,000 per month for a group home, it was indicated.

Lough took over as executive director a few months ago. She has a professional background in social services and recently relocated to the Sayner area to be near family.

Donations to support NRJ may be sent to: Northwoods Restorative Justice, P.O. Box 1744, Woodruff, WI 54568.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search
search sponsored by

Subscription Login

Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'


Reader Poll

Should people be allowed to use the internet to distribute directions for making 3-D printed plastic guns?

Please select one:
I need more information before offering an opinion.
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results
Reader Poll

Do you agree with the School District of Rhinelanderís decision to dismiss football coach Chris Ferge?

Please select one:
I have no opinion.

View Results
Reader Poll

Which of the following best describes your reaction to the Republicans move to curtail the power of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul?

Please select one:
I have no issue with it. Itís a normal part of todayís politics.
Itís unconscionable, but Iím confidant the courts will overturn the bills.
Iím OK with it as long as both parties are allowed to do it.
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results
Reader Poll

Which City of Rhinelander elected officials should be recalled?

Please select one:
All of them. The mayor and the entire Common Council.
I would recall the council but keep the mayor.
I would recall the mayor but keep the council.
Everyone but alderman Emmer, as he was just appointed.
Frederickson, Sauer, Holt, Rossing and Larson.
Rog, Kirby and Kelly.

View Results
Reader Poll

The School District of Rhinelander is deciding whether its new indoor athletic facility will be a permanent dome or steel structure. Which do you prefer?

Please select one:
Permanent dome
Steel structure
I'm not sure at this point.
I don't want to see any kind of indoor facility built if it's financed via the general fund

View Results

Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions

The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2019 1up!

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved