Restorative Response Program


During our special Community Engagement Week, you can complete your 8 hours within one or two days with one of our trusted community partners! Click here for more info.

Following the deaths of George Floyd and Walter Wallace, Philadelphia saw both widespread protest and significant civil unrest. The Restorative Response Program was established to create an alternative path to resolve approximately 700 of the arrests which occurred during this period. This program draws on the tenets of Restorative Justice and emphasizes community re-engagement over criminal punishment.

Most people arrested in connection to the civil unrest which took place between 5/31-6/12 and 10/27-11/1 are eligible if they are accused of non-violent offenses.  Eligible Defender Association clients will be contacted by mail and by phone.

If you believe you or a loved one is eligible, but have not heard from an attorney please email or call 267-765-5045 and leave a message with:

  • your name
  • date of birth
  • address
  • phone number
  • email address

An attorney will contact you promptly.

Step 1: Participants MUST COMPLETE a two-hour Educational Session to begin the program.

Step 2: Participants MUST SIGN the Restorative Response Program Acceptance Form found here. Forms can be returned by mail, email, or to the Defender drop box (located at 1441 Sansom Street, open M-F 9:00 am – 4:00 pm).

Step 3: Once you have completed the 2-hour education session listed in Step 1, please choose a community re-engagement opportunity to complete 8-hours of programs. Participants MUST COMPLETE 8 additional hours of programming through one of the Community Re-engagement Opportunities listed below or through an approved outside organization.

Here is a timesheet for participants to use for tracking completed session hours.

Step 4: The Defender Association will provide the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office with proof of completion.  At the next court date (which will be held remotely and attended by attorneys only unless COVID protocols change), all charges will be dismissed and the case will be withdrawn.

Step 5: The Defender Association will ask the court to expunge the case from the participant’s record free of charge.  Fill out the Expungement Interview request form here.

All Participants MUST COMPLETE a 2-hour educational session (either virtual OR in-person) before moving forward in the program. Sign up for any one of the sessions below.

If you have already completed the 2-hour educational session with Rev Donna Jones, Tara, and Kavita, skip this and please go down to the next step (Community Re-engagement Opportunities)

Restorative Response Program Virtual Education Sessions: 

Once you have completed the 2-hour education session listed in Step 1, please choose a community re-engagement opportunity to complete 8-hours of programs.

Click on the category name to see a list of organizations and opportunities. You can also download a printable directory of organizations and re-engagement opportunities here. 

As you complete your community re-engagement activities, track your hours using this timesheet. 

Participants who successfully complete the program will have all their court fines and costs waived.  Determinations about restitution have not yet been in the majority of cases.  It is possible the Commonwealth will request restitution from some individuals.  An attorney from the Defender will reach out to you to address any restitution issues if they arise.

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