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A new program is tackling the teen vaping epidemic

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Restorative Justice (RJ) is a model based on the premise that when laws are broken harm is caused to individuals and communities. Using restorative processes allows victims and the opportunity to have an active say in the resolution of their case. In addition to being victim-focused re-offense rates tend to drop or lessen in severity when RJ is implemented.

As of September this year, RJ has begun to assist in dealing with the vaping issue that has flooded schools. In partnership with the Eau Claire Area School District and Eue Claire Police Department, they have developed a deferred citation process in which students who are caught vaping on school grounds are offered an opportunity to attend the "Catch My Breath Program" to get some education about vaping. In this manner, they are offering an opportunity for students to avoid formal law enforcement consequences and arm themselves with fact-based information going forward.

Corey Viars

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