The Hinesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Social Action Committee hosted Delta Day at Liberty County Juvenile Court on Nov. 15 in honor of National Restorative Justice Week, which was Nov. 19-26.
During Delta Day, members attended hearings related to juvenile delinquency cases brought through the Department of Juvenile Justice and juvenile dependency cases brought through the Department of Family and Children Services.
According to a press release from the Hinesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Social Action Committee, restorative justice is a philosophy and an approach that views crime and conflict as harm done to people and relationships.
It is a non-adversarial, non-retributive approach to justice that emphasizes healing in victims, accountability of offenders and the involvement of citizens in creating healthier, safer communities.
"As the public perception of rampant juvenile drug abuse and serious crime continues without regard to the numbers of youths actually involved and the incarceration rates continues to increase among African Americans, it is important that the Social Action Committee and members of the Hinesville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. become vigilant in identifying and addressing the underlying issues associated with incarceration and in the efforts to preserve families," said Social Action Committee member Edith Anderson.
She said the purpose of Delta Day at Liberty County Juvenile Court was to increase the group’s involvement in the juvenile justice process, including delinquency and child welfare.
And also to create dialogue with the Juvenile Court judge, attorneys, probation/parole specialist and social workers "on issues that are importance to the youth and families within the communities and begin to develop a collaborative working relationship that allows for us to assist in the creation of a community that is healthy and safe," she said.
On Nov. 15, members had an opportunity to speak with Juvenile Judge Linnie L. Darden III regarding issues affecting the youth in the community.
Chapter President Petula Gomillion shared with the judge the chapter’s mentoring program for young ladies, Delta GEMS (Growing Empowering Myself Successfully), which is ideal for at-risk youth in grades ninth through 12th.
Participants in that program are provided with life skills, community service, college and career preparatory lessons.