A newly launched Neighborhood Restorative Justice Program (RPJ) in the Goleta Valley is in need of volunteers. The Neighborhood RJP 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 Neighborhood Restorative Justice Program addresses criminal violations that impact the quality of life in the community.
The District Attorney’s office 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 conference 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 committed. Community volunteers should work or live in the Goleta Valley.
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
- Have lived in Goleta Valley for 3 years (1 year if a student)
- Two-year time commitment (1 year if students)
- Bilingual/bicultural Spanish/English volunteers are highly encouraged
Community members are encouraged to apply and participate in developing an innovative and extremely successful program.