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'Thursdays at the U' continues Sept. 9 with discussion of Barron County Restorative Justice Programs

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

In 1999, Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Edward Brunner was frustrated that he had no other option for first-time nonviolent offenders than to sentence them to jail or prison. In his search for a viable alternative to incarceration, he found victim offender conferencing, now know as restorative conferencing. The Barron County Restorative Justice Programs (BCRJP) organization was developed as a result of Brunner's inspiration.

Monika Audette

Monika Audette

Mary Hoeft

Mary Hoeft

Monika Audette, program operations leader for BCRJP, and Mary Hoeft, restorative conference facilitator, will speak about the organization's programs Sept. 9 during UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's "Thursdays at the U" lecture. Their presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus. Please note: Per UW-Eau Claire's campus mask guidelines, masks are required indoors for all attendees.

Audette and Hoeft, co-authors of the recent book "From A Single Pebble: Barron County Restorative Justice Programs,” will explain how BCRJP programs help restore lives, empower victims and hold offenders accountable.

Polly Wolner, the first executive director of BCRJP, oversaw the development of the programs that have served more than 10,000 residents of Barron County since the organization's inception.

The "Thursdays at the U" weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. 

For more information about the series, contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at tollefla@uwec.edu.