Jim serves as the Executive Director of the Community Justice Center (CJC). CJC is a non-traditional restorative justice and public safety organization. CJC addresses the needs of crime victims, offenders, and their communities.
CJC offers victims a web-based service that voices their experiences with the criminal justice system. CJC also provides offenders a powerful and effective Crime Victim’s Impact Class. Jim’s impact class holds the offenders directly accountable, while reducing re-arrest rates. The program is based on the principles and values of restorative justice that states “Crime is not an act against the state, but against human relationships.” Jim’s passion is to give back to the community by using his own experiences with victimization and providing help to survivors of crime and offenders.
In October 1989, Jim was arrested for robbery and served a 3 to 5 year sentence in the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Jim was released in 1992 and enrolled in college shortly after. Jim went on to earn two AAs; one in Drug & Alcohol Counseling and the other in Youth Specialization.
In 1995, Jim began working at the Lincoln Action Program (LAP) with President Clinton’s National Service Corporation, and AmeriCorps. During his time at LAP, Jim was taught an existing restorative justice prison program. This experience gave Jim an idea to create a unique restorative justice program. This program is called the Victims First Team.
Victims First Team is composed of juvenile offenders and other youth who assist survivors of crime around their homes and businesses. They hear directly from victims about how crime has negatively impacted their lives. The Victims First Team educates young people into developing emotional awareness and the impact crime has on our communities. This program also addresses victim’s needs, while building offender competencies and increasing public safety.
Jim has served on numerous committees and boards in the Lincoln area, since the creation of CJC and The Victims First Team. Some of these committees and boards include: Mayor’s Community Cabinet, Youth Attention Center Advisory Committee, and Lincoln Lancaster Drug Project Board. In 1997, the Victims First Team received the Nebraska First Lady’s Award for beinig an outstanding community service group. Jim was also appointed by Governor Ben Nelson to the state’s Juvenile Justice Task Force in 1998. He has presented both programs at local conferences, and various restorative justice conferences around the country.
Jim recieved several awards in 2001 including; the Good Persons Award from the Family Violence Council, the Washington Times Foundation Award for restorative justice, and the Citizens Certificate of Merit from the Lincoln Police Department (LPD). Jim was also awarded the Sertoma National Service To Mankind Award in 2009. CJC and the Victims First Team addresses the needs of victims, offenders and our communities in a meaningful way that benefits us all.