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Impact Panels

  • Panels are a one session presentation; it is not a treatment group

  • The program lasts approximately two hours

  • A parent or guardian must attend with their youth if under the age of 17

  • Participants will be charged a nominal fee to attend this program

The Substance Abuse Impact Panel is a program that informs participants of the harm that alcohol and substance use cause the individual, their families and the community.

Participants will hear about the risks and consequences of drug and alcohol use through real life examples of how substance use has affected others.


The Retail Fraud Impact Panel  is a program that informs adults and youth of the harm that is caused to the community when people shoplift.  Participants will hear about the addictive nature of shoplifting and the future consequences they will face if they continue this behavior through real life examples of how shoplifting has affected others.

The Curfew Violation Impact Panel focuses on the necessity of curfews, the consequences of violating curfews, and how curfews impact the community.

What is Restorative Justice?

A justice framework which acknowledges that when a person does harm, it affects the person they hurt, the community and themselves.

This concept asks the individual to repair the harm caused by their behavior. Restorative Justice is a process in which stakeholders are all active participants in an effort to restore victims, communities and offenders, while rebuilding relationships. Not only is it effective in addressing crime, but the restorative philosophy can be applied to school settings, family environments, the community or any other setting where relationships can be damaged by harmful behavior.

 The Restorative Philosophy

  • Allows individuals to learn the impact of their actions and take direct responsibility 

  • Develops a mutually acceptable plan to restore the situation back to its original state, as much as possible

  • Strengthens community safety

  • Supports the healing process of victims by providing a safe, controlled setting to meet with the offender

  • Promotes positive skill development of all participants


Victim Offender Conferencing

Provides victims an opportunity to meet their offender, in a safe and structured setting where they are able to engage in a mediated discussion about the crime

Brian Mattson Center for Restorative Justice

Brian Mattson spent his long time career in the Muskegon County criminal justice system hoping to give juvenile offenders a chance at a successful life. His approach was stern but caring. He believed that every case was important and the juveniles he worked with were not just another file in the system. Throughout his work in juvenile justice Brian was introduced to, at the time, a relatively new concept called Balanced and Restorative Justice.

Brian came to believe that Restorative Justice was a better option for the juvenile offenders he worked with and for their victims; building accountability, repairing harm and developing the skills to make different and better decisions in the future. Brian's work was instrumental in the formation of our Restorative Justice program, which was the first of its kind in the state of Michigan. We are grateful for his dedication and perseverance to the Restorative Philosophy.

Our center has moved & changed names through the years, but our focus on Restorative Justice remains the same. We are proud to be a part of Brian Mattson's legacy.

Brian Mattson

6/25/1947 - 2/28/2004

Restorative Justice in the news:


An Effective but Exhausting Alternative to High-School Suspensions - The New York Times Magazine


The couple who met their son's killers - BBC

Can Restorative Justice Break the School-to- Prison Pipeline? - The Crime Report

DISCLAIMER The views expressed in these various publications do not necessarily reflect the views of the Mediation & Restorative Services Staff, Volunteers and Board of Directors.

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