UTEC, which serves Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell with anti-gang violence programs, last week was one of more than a dozen nonprofits statewide to be awarded a grant to provide, what the state calls, “restorative justice services in low-income communities.”
Lowell-based UTEC received the maximum $20,000 single-organization grant out of $380,000 allocated statewide by Gov. Maura Healey’s administration. The money comes from this year’s Commonwealth Restorative Justice Community Grant Program.
“These grants provide the opportunity to help communities and individuals along their path toward healing and accountability. I’m grateful for the important work that each of these grant recipients do to meet the diverse needs of communities through restorative justice, and for the lasting partnerships that these grants help to build,” said Healey.
The state’s Criminal Justice Reform Act notes restorative justice is a voluntary program that “engages parties to a crime or members of the community in order to develop a plan of repair that addresses the needs of the parties and the community.”
Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy explained, “This grant program is designed to allow those who have experienced harm and those who have caused it to participate in a restorative process. This can never undo what has happened, but it can shape how individuals and communities move forward. Restorative justice programs are important tools in improving the safety of communities impacted by crime.”
“The impacts of crime and trauma ripple through communities. Restorative justice programs serve the victims of crime, their families, and communities, as well as individuals who have inflicted harm. These funds are an investment in the wellbeing of communities,” added Lt. Gov. Kimberley Driscoll.