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Ms Crews, 39, did not respond to an interview request.

“Officer Crews has maintained that she has no plans to shoot Ashley Hall,” her attorney, Travis Noble, said in a statement. “It was an accident. The restorative justice approach taken by the St. Louis County District Attorney’s Office has been the best outcome for everyone involved.

Mr. Bell, the St. Louis County District Attorney, said the case “presented a unique set of facts” that made it an ideal opportunity for restorative mediation. He pointed to Ms Crews’ immediate apology after she shot Ms Hall in the back, and Ms Hall’s revelation that she did not want Ms Crews to go to jail.

Shortly after the shooting, Mr. Bell contacted the Restorative Justice Program in Washington, DC, which the city’s Attorney General Karl A. Racine established in 2017. Seema Gajwani, who heads the program, accepted to facilitate moderation between Mrs. Hall. and Mrs. Crews.

“This is an example of the fulfillment of the ideal, which is healing and righteousness,” Mr. Bell said in an interview. “The trauma that individuals face during the legal process often does not address this healing, this type of responsibility, and it is not designed to do so. “

Ms. Gajwani said in an interview that the criminal justice system leaves little room for people to have the agency to “solve the problems themselves and have a chance to speak out.” She said she was often surprised by how often victims opt for restorative justice when it is available, instead of a trial.

Washington’s restorative justice program has conducted more than 150 mediations, according to Mr. Racine’s office, who said an internal analysis of cases involving juvenile offenders indicated the process was reducing recidivism.

Restorative justice programs are proliferating across the country, and not just in large metropolitan areas, said Alissa Marque Heydari, deputy director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.


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