Spalding announces program in restorative justice to lower youth incarceration rates

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 29) – Spalding University President Tori Murden McClure announced today a new center focused on compassion, restorative practices and improved behavioral and mental health outcomes for Kentucky youth. One million dollars has been raised to establish the Center for Restorative Justice at Spalding University and support the university’s Center for Behavioral Health (CBH).

The Center for Restorative Justice at Spalding University will further the image of Kentucky as a compassionate and progressive state that recognizes the value of restorative methods as an alternative to incarceration for vulnerable youth. According to President McClure, the program comes at a critical time for the state. “Kentucky spends $50 million annually incarcerating juveniles within the Commonwealth,” she says. “Most of these incarcerated juveniles are non-violent, and Spalding University is leading a path for alternatives to incarceration by training psychologists, social workers, teachers and other service providers in restorative practices.”

A $500,000 challenge grant awarded by the James Graham Brown Foundation in 2015 has been matched through a successful fundraising campaign. Additional funding to match the challenge grant was provided through the generous support of the Gheens Foundation, the Ray & Kay Eckstein Charitable Trust, the J & L Foundation, the Archdiocese of Louisville, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Louisville Bar Foundation, the William E. Barth Foundation, other local foundations and the contributions of individual donors.

“Spalding University is the perfect environment for a restorative justice education program to thrive,” says Councilwoman Angela Leet (R-7), who is also a trustee of the university. “This program pairs the promotion of peace and justice with experiential learning, and the results will be sustainable and life changing for individuals and the community.”

Spalding is partnering with Restorative Justice Louisville (RJL), Kentucky’s first nonprofit alternative for juvenile offenders within the existing criminal justice system. As part of Spalding’s new restorative justice initiatives, university faculty members and graduate students will collaborate directly with RJL’s staff to provide services that will benefit the community.

As an experiential teaching facility with the capacity to provide client-centered care consistent with an integrated health care model, all Center for Behavioral Health services are offered on a need-based, sliding-fee scale in accordance with the university’s mission-driven commitment to meeting the needs of the times through compassion and service.