Restorative Justice Ministries of Holy Family Parish support the work of the Catholic community, especially the Los Angeles Archdiocese Office of Restorative Justice and nonprofit organizations, to seek justice and healing for all those affected by crime – victims, offenders, their families, and the community-at-large.
About Restorative Justice
The guiding principles of restorative justice are included in the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ 2000 pastoral statement, “Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.”
Holy Family’s ministry began as Detention Ministry serving incarcerated children at Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles and expanded to include the parish’s participation in Get On The Bus, founded by Sister Suzanne Jabro, CSJ, at the Center for Restorative Justice Works to enable children of the incarcerated to visit their parents in state prison.
The ministry also collaborates with the Center for Restorative Justice Works which offers an opportunity to meet women in prison offering them friendship and a healing presence of care from outside the prison walls.
Homeboy Industries and Homegirl Café, founded by Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., have long been friends of Holy Family Parish. In an effort to support their work with formerly gang-involved youth and adults, Holy Family Restorative Justice Ministries have recruited doctors for tattoo removal and partnered with Holy Family’s Giving Bank for the Home Garden Project which provides organic produce for both Homegirl Café and Giving Bank clients.
The parish has also provided space for Archdiocesan-sponsored healing workshops for mothers of violent crime victims and mothers of the incarcerated. The parish collaborated with Partnership for Re-entry for an art show and concert to support the work of Sister Mary Sean Hodges, OP, founder of PREP which focuses on re-integration of parolees into society by providing them with the resources and support they need in the days and weeks following release from prison.
Holy Family’s Detention Ministry provides visitation in Christ to incarcerated youth at Central Juvenile Hall in East Los Angeles under the supervision and direction of the Archdiocesan Office of Restorative Justice.
Formed as a result of the enthusiastic response to a 2004 four-part series on Juvenile Justice sponsored by Holy Family’s Social Concerns Ministry, Detention Ministry is, in reality, a “ministry of presence.” The main thrust of a volunteer’s work is to be present to these young people during a very stressful and often lonely time in their lives and to offer them the understanding and friendship of a caring adult. While there are occasional opportunities to provide sacramental catechesis if requested by an individual youth, the ministry is not primarily a catechetical or evangelization ministry.
On a typical Sunday morning, volunteers from Holy Family and other parishes in the Archdiocese gather at 8:30 a.m. for Mass with Catholic youth and, afterwards, visit with small groups in the housing units. On Wednesday evenings, volunteers are given the opportunity for one-on-one visits with youth who request a visit from a Catholic volunteer. Central Juvenile Hall, located near USC medical buildings, is the oldest of three juvenile halls run by the Los Angeles County Probation Department. Children incarcerated in the halls range in age from 8 to 18. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and must receive a security clearance from the Probation Department. Training is provided by the Archdiocesan Office of Restorative Justice.
Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative
Paula Van Houten