In May 2021, the District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the Second District Supervisor’s Office, implemented a Neighborhood Restorative Justice (NRJP) pilot program. This pilot program served first-time offenders in the City of Goleta.
The NRJP is a community-driven, pre-filing diversion program designed to divert low-level misdemeanor offenses from entering into the criminal justice system. Offenders in this program are given an opportunity to take responsibility and repair some of the harm they caused through a community-based process using restorative justice principles instead of a courtroom. The NRJP addresses criminal violations that impact the quality of life in the community.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney John T. Savrnoch announced on May 25 that they would be expanding their Neighborhood Restorative Justice Program countywide beginning in July 2023 and is currently soliciting community panelists and facilitators who will be trained in restorative justice principles and participate in leading restorative justice proceedings (conferences). The facilitators will be trained in leading the conferences and guides participants through a step-by- step restorative process. The panelists play a supportive role in representing the community’s needs, interests and perspectives concerning the crime(s) committed.
Requirements to become a volunteer facilitator or panelist:
- Complete the application
- A Live-Scan fingerprinting and criminal record check (Immigrant status is irrelevant and will not be checked.)
- No recent felonies or misdemeanors
- Complete volunteer facilitator and panelist training
- Two-year time commitment
- Bilingual/bicultural Spanish/English volunteers are highly encouraged
We encourage you to apply and participate in developing an innovative and extremely successful program.