One local currency's story

One Local Currency’s Story

Dane County Timebank is a thriving local currency amongst a disadvantaged community in USA. Established in 2005, the TimeBank provides a way for more than 2,000 members to connect with each other and offer or exchange services.

For many young people, the changes associated with coming of age can seem daunting, and when combined with the instability that comes with an arrest, it can become unmanageable. Restorative justice systems help youth stay away from a path of repeat offences while introducing positive influences like the TimeBank’s Youth Court Program and the Dane County Community Restorative Courts work toward reshaping the traditional criminal justice model.

These programs allow victims and offenders to interact with one another and help repair the offender’s relationship with the community. In Dane County, the Community Restorative Courts act as an alternative to the judicial system for first-time offenders who are 17 to 25 years old.

Any person between the ages of 12 and 16 who receives a municipal violation may now “opt-in” to the restorative justice courts run by the TimeBank.  If an informal jury of their young peers decides that the youth should offer a useful recompense to the community, then they ask the youth to do community work that is remunerated in the local currency.

The Dane County Time Bank has provided systems for free to its members because it uses the free open source software from CommunityForge, one of the founding platforms behind the Credit Commons Collective. The proposed LocalPay Technology Project would secure the future of the Dane County Timebank and more than 300 other active local currencies.


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