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Genesee Justice gets a five-day reprieve

Dec 02, 2010

From the article by Howard Owens on the Batavian:

Genesee County's world renowned restorative justice agency is spared the budget ax for at least five more days.

A proposal by Genesee Justice Director Ed Minardo to cut staff hours and eliminate his own job deserves further study all nine legislators agreed during a budget discussion meeting at the Old Courthouse this evening.

While the proposal comes close to eliminating all of the expense necessary to keep the county budget balanced, more savings must be found.

But the big unresolved question is will the county's employee union, the Civil Service Employees Association, allow Genesee Justice staff to cut their own hours.

If CSEA blocks the reduction in hours, Minardo's entire plan to save Genesee Justice could collapse.

...Minardo said he hopes that by giving Genesee Justice at least one more year of life, new funding sources can be found, primarily through the creation of a new charitable foundation.

"What I'm saying is take a leap of faith and take me out of the picture for right now," said Minardo. "Let us look and see if in the next year we can find more concrete funding streams. Let us see if the community will support Genesee Justice."

There are a couple of leaders in the justice community who have already offered to serve on a foundation board, Minardo said.

The idea of eliminating Genesee Justice, a pioneering restorative justice program founded with grant money 30 years ago, first arose in Gsell's preliminary budget proposal a few weeks ago. Gsell was under orders from the Legislature to cut spending and not raise taxes.

Read the full article.

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lisa rea
lisa rea says:
Dec 02, 2010 10:43 PM

Thank you for posting this. When lobbying for restorative justice in the 1990s, working for Justice Fellowship in California, I learned of the work of Dennis Whitman and Genesee Justice. It was very innovative and impressive. <br /> <br />I hope the powers that be in New York see the great value of this program. The funds for this program should not be reduced but instead expanded. Why? Because restorative justice works: it's cost effective and helps to keep offenders from returning to jail/prison. It also meets the needs of crime victims. <br /> <br />Lisa Rea <br /> <br />

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