Leadership and Innovation Award in Community and Restorative Justice

2022 Award Recipient - Silas Deane

Founder and Director of Community Readiness at Tyler Technologies, Nashville, Tennessee

Silas SilasRush

Left: Silas Deane
Right: Silas Deane (right), pictured with NACRJ Board Member Lee Rush, accepts the Leadership and Innovation Award at the 2022 NACRJ National Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Silas Deane is the founder and director of Community Readiness at Tyler Technologies. Silas discovered the issue of reentry in our corrections system during an internship in college. After traveling to over 50 jails across the country and asking those in leadership for the current list of resources they provide to inmates, he realized that the criminal justice system lacked reentry infrastructure.

This realization prompted him to start the Resource Project to change the incentives of the corrections industry and connect those incarcerated and the community. Using his platform, those incarcerated can access kiosks, find aid or job opportunities, submit applications, start communication, and have the need to wait when they leave the facility. This process evolves the mores of reentry and creates real change in the lives of millions of Americans.

The Resource Project, now Community Readiness, is a division of S&P 500 Company Tyler Technologies, launching across +600 facilities and integrating with court systems to enable more successful data for reentry across the United States. This software bridges the gap between the jail and the community, providing the opportunity for responsibility to millions of Americans.

Award Background

NACRJ periodically recognizes individuals, groups, or programs that have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and/or innovation in community and restorative justice education, research, and/or practice.

Award Criteria

Recipients of this award have:

  • Made innovative contributions to the theory or practice in the field to broaden the application, apply principles and values, or develop new perspectives based on community and restorative justice.
  • Continually sought innovative ways to improve his/her/their work and create outstanding results in community and restorative justice.
  • Pursued opportunities and innovative ways to advance community and restorative justice
  • Recognized, understood, and appreciated that people from multiple cultures and experiences view problems and opportunities differently.
  • Set an example by dealing ethically in relationships and by maintaining the highest personal standards.
  • Been seen as a bridge builder and peacemaker by others..
  • Modeled the principles, values and practices of community and restorative justice by:
    • Taking prompt, decisive action to avoid or resolve problems.
    • Sharing responsibility, leadership, vision, talent, and credit with others.
    • Extending respect and courtesy to others, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
    • Conducting their personal and professional lives consistent with restorative principles, values and practices.

Past Recipients of the Leadership and Innovation Award

2019 Recipient

David Karp


School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Leadership and Innovation Award in Community and Restorative Justice—Recognizes individuals, groups or organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the fields of restorative and community justice. Click here for David’s accomplishments

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2017 Recipient

Sujatha Baliga

Promoting Youth RJ Diversion Programs, Bay Area, CA

2017 Leadership and Innovation award recipient, Sujatha Baliga

Sujatha Baliga is a pioneer in the restorative justice movement, particularly in the creation of restorative youth diversion programs in the Bay Area, which have become models for restorative youth diversion programs throughout California and nationwide. The first of these programs—Restorative Community Conferencing (RCC) juvenile diversion program in Alameda County, CA—currently keeps up to 100 youth out of the juvenile justice system each year. Data collected from over 100 young people who participated in RCC revealed substantial decreases in recidivism rates and costs for youth going through the RCC programs. Survivors have consistently reported very high rates of satisfaction with the program. This landmark set of data has led to the implementation of similar RCC programs in ten cities nationwide.

Sujatha's work of centering crime survivors’ identified needs while simultaneously reducing the role of punishment and disproportionate racial and ethnic contact in our justice processes extends far beyond her diversion work in the Bay Area. She has been nationally-recognized as a leading voice both in restorative justice and in the crime survivors’ movement, and has sought to utilize the approach of restorative justice in ending child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence as well. She brings her personal story of forgiveness as a survivor to bear in every group, and invites others to "bring conflict first to the source with love."

2015 Recipient

Janice Jerome

Executive Director

Restorative Justice Institute of Atlanta, LLC

Janice Jerome receives the Leadership Award with her Colleagues

Janice Jerome demonstrates the type of leadership that draws people from the community to Restorative Justice work. Through her leadership she is able to help them address community problems using dialogue driven practices rooted in the values and principles of restorative and community justice.

Her work is through the Restorative Justice Institute of Atlanta as well as her church which supports and promotes her community organizing efforts. These efforts have made a difference in the lives of many people as well as the communities in which they live and work. In these ways she has helped members of her community understand and respond to harms and conflicts in constructive ways that are effective while also promoting peace, understanding, reparation and accountabilty.

She is a consummate leader with a vision of a more constructive future which she is able to convey and motivate others to work toward. She uses a dialogue driven personal style that is respectful, considerate, informed, and open. As a result, Janice is able to motivate others to give their best efforts as they work together to develop and execute plans for a more just, livable, and safe community. She has wisdom beyond her years. This wisdome is combined with a strong work ethic and personal diligence. She seems tireless and able to do the work of several people with love, dignity, respect and integrity. She is a living model of effective leadership within the community and restorative justice movement.

As a side note, Janice Jerome received two nominations for the Leadership Award independent of one anothers. This is unusual and noteworthy in itself.

2011 Recipient

Janet Conner

Restorative Justice Educator, Victim Advocate and Peace Activist, Boston, MA.