Restorative Practices Aim to Help Jailed Youth

The Daily Journal


For Bettina Graf, Monday mornings are dedicated to stories. As the restorative practices lead for the San Mateo County Office of Education, every Monday and Thursday morning Graf sits in a circle with recently incarcerated youth at the San Mateo County Youth Services Center, also known as juvenile hall. Whether a teen is describing members of his family or is talking how inspirational her best friend is, Graf listens to stories that, in many cases, haven’t been told before. Knowing many of the teens in her Monday and Thursday sessions have been sitting in jail cells and thinking for hours about what landed them there, Graf’s focus is on helping the teens separate their actions from their identities before they begin classes in the county’s court and community schools.

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