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The Office of Restorative Justice was begun as two separate programs of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1975. Catholic Charities coordinated the ministry in the jails for adults and Sr. Suzanne Jabro coordinated the ministry to incarcerated juveniles through the Office of Religious Education. The two programs were combined in 1985 creating the Office of Detention Ministry under the direction of Msgr. Padraic Loftus, and later Br. Peter Donohue. In 1995 Sr. Suzanne Jabro, C.S.J. became the director and gave a new vision to the ministry. She believed that the office needed to work with all those involved in the criminal justice system if change were to happen.

Restorative Justice became the model for the Office and its outreach. Besides direct ministry, the office included education of the public and advocacy for change as part of its mission. In 2000, the Get On The Bus program was started with the goal to take children to see their mothers who are incarcerated. Get on the Bus has since become its own separate non-profit program, still partnering with the Office of Restorative Justice. In 2001 an Advocate for Victims was added to the staff, as well as a Coordinator of Programs for Families of the Incarcerated, and a Coordinator of Programs for Parolees. In 2003 co-directors of the office were named: one concentrating on ministry to adults and the other on ministry to juveniles. In 2004 the name of the Office was officially changed to include Restorative Justice in its title to reflect the newly defined, wide-ranging/ambitious mission.

The Office of Restorative Justice and its staff provide pastoral care for the incarcerated, their families and victims of violent crime while seeking to affect changes in public policy regarding the criminal justice system and those human being impacted by it. We seek to energize the Church to respond to Jesus' invitation to walk with the prisoner and to comfort those who mourn.

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