Peacemaking Academy

Diversion Program and Initiatives

The Peacemaking Academy (PMA) constitutes a forum where diversion program initiatives emerge from a partnering between communities and systems.  Each PMA is unique to its own region (City, County, State) and the partnership of that local system and the community it serves.  The goal is to meet systems and communities where they are and co-design a customized diversion program to meet both system and community needs.

PMA aims to add value to our criminal justice system in the efforts to provide the services of healing to communities who seek reconciliation and making amends, as well as to reduce racial disproportionality and the incarceration of black and brown young people.

When young people, whose cases are referred, complete our program by meeting all of the criteria, their criminal cases will be dropped and each young person will continue to receive support from our street outreach and mentors so they can continue to propel and strive to reach their full potential.

System Reform

Co-designing a collaborative youth diversion program.

Peacemaking Academy Youth Diversion Program - King County, Seattle WA

Cultivating peace. Inspiring change.

Transforming criminal justice with community engagement

The Challenge

One of the greatest challenges in criminal justice reform initiatives is truly engaging communities to be a part of the solution in promoting public safety, because systems often rush to drive results and build a program without properly acknowledging and addressing the harms they have caused to communities.

Although well-intentioned, this solution-driven approach of building a program is likely to skip the process of building relationship and trust.  The solution often neglects trust and ignores the historical trauma systems have caused in communities.  Without trust, it’s hard for people to learn how to interact and work together.  The solution, then, is often one-sided, viewing the community as the problem to be fixed, creating an imbalance of power.

Community Engagement – utilizing values of trust, empowerment and connection.

The Solution

Shifting the imbalance of power between systems and communities is about forging trust so we can learn how to collaborate and build credibility with one another. Truth and reconciliation is vital in this process because truth-telling brings healing, and healing creates conditions for the courage to reconcile.

Collective Impact – sharing power and creating space for everyone to contribute for public safety.
King County Peacemaking Academy Youth Diversion Program peacemaking circle

Academy Program Goals

  • Promote accountability and reparations to amend harms, centering victims in the process.
  • Promote personal development and self-mastery.
  • Foster healing, strengthen families, and build a community of trust.

Our Partnerships & Diversion Pilot Initiatives

King County,  Seattle, WA

Pierce County, Tacoma, WA

Pilot in New County TBA

“Pain that is not transformed is transferred.”

Richard Rohr
Catholic priest and writer