What is the Restorative Justice Partnership Initiative (RJPI) of Santa Barbara County?
The goals of the Restorative Justice Partnership Initiative’s interventions (Restorative Conferencing and Victim/Offender Mediation) outlined here are to:
- Give victims and community members a voice as to how they were effected and how to repair harm
- Keep minors out of the juvenile justice system
- Keep the community protected
- Have minors take responsibility for their actions
- Hold the offender accountable to the victim and community
- Re-integrate youth into the community as productive members of society
Law enforcement officer and/or Probation Intake Officer who are trained to screen for potential RJ cases, sends the case to RJPI staff, who upon assessment for appropriateness, initiates the Restorative Justice Intake process. A mediator team is assigned.
A meeting is held with the offender and at least one parent. If offender is willing to proceed, the victim is contacted and a meeting is scheduled. If the victim is interested in participating, others affected are identified and invited to participate including arresting officer.
Click here for copy of RJPI booklet given to victims and offenders.
Like all constructive interactions, BOTH advance preparation and follow-through are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that makes the difference between a successful discussion and a hostile encounter. Moreover, appropriate and case specific support systems are put in place for a successful completion of the program and restorative fulfillment to the victim, offender, and the larger community.
A joint restorative conference/mediation is held. The essence of a restorative circle conference process is a face-to-face encounter between the victim and the person or persons considered to be the offender(s). In that meeting arranged and chaired by trained RJ co-mediators, opportunity is given for each party to describe how they experienced the offense (both facts and feelings), agree that the injustice/violation has been recognized and work at restoring equity (reparation).
Future intentions are discussed in order to rebuild the level of trust that has been shaken as a result of this offense AND to specifically address some of the underlying causes of the destructive behavior.
Restorative Justice Partnership
- Conflict Solutions Center
- Lompoc Police Department
- Santa Maria Police Department
- Santa Barbara County District Attorney
- Santa Barbara County Public Defender
- Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department
- Santa Barbara County Probation Department
- Victim Witness Assistance Program
- Future Search Committee of Santa Maria
Copies of the agreement arrived at in the conference are distributed to all participants and sent to Probation. Upon completion of the terms of the agreement, a Closure Meeting may be held. A Final Report is completed and sent back to the referring law enforcement agency. The case may be dropped at this point, and the youth is monitored for 1 year after the conference for repeat offenses.