MADISON (WKOW) -- National leaders in criminal justice reform are in Madison this week helping Dane County work on its community restorative court.
The pilot program, designed to keep young, low-level offenders out of jail, started earlier this year.
Experts with the Center for Court Innovation in New York say Dane County's program is off to a good start, helping young people find a positive place in the community.
"These kind of cases ask young people tough questions about why they were involved in the actions that led them to their contact with the police in the first place and leads them in front of these youth court or other restorative programs," says Linda Baird, youth program director with the center.
Dane County's Restorative Court offers minor offenders counseling and community service as an alternative to jail.