Neighborhood Court Team Receives Democracy Works Award from League of Women Voters of Woodland

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) - October 27, 2017 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on October 25, 2017, the League of Women Voters of Woodland presented their annual Democracy Works Award to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office’s Neighborhood Court team. Since 2006, this award has recognized individuals and organizations throughout the Woodland community that promote public service and local public policy innovations. Members of the Neighborhood Court team joined The League of Women Voters of Woodland for dinner at Kitchen 428 to celebrate the occasion.

Neighborhood Court (NHC) is an innovative diversion program based on the principles of restorative justice. The program, which offers an alternative to criminal court, has been in operation since June of 2013. Rather than pursuing a case for criminal prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office refers certain low-level misdemeanors and infractions to Neighborhood Court. NHC aims to provide individualized outcomes for these cases; outcomes designed to educate and address the underlying causes of criminal misconduct while prioritizing the acceptance of responsibility and reparation of harms to the community and any direct victims affected.

Neighborhood Court is supported by eight part-time and full-time staff members. The Neighborhood Court team includes volunteers throughout Yolo County, with over 200 individual volunteers donating their time to make this program a reality.

District Attorney Jeff Reisig and Supervising DDA Chris Bulkeley addressed the audience prior to accepting the award. District Attorney Jeff Reisig expressed gratitude for The League of Women Voters’ recognition. “Our Neighborhood Court team is honored to receive the ‘Democracy Works’ award from the League. While the statistical success of the program speaks for itself, it is the recognition that the program embodies some of the best aspects of what is possible in a democratic society when community members work together to solve problems that makes us all especially proud.”

After the event concluded, Legal Process Clerk Jake Whitaker shared his thoughts about the experience. “It truly is an honor to be recognized for our team’s efforts to implement this ground-breaking program. Our county was the second in the state to implement a program based on the values of restorative justice, and that is something that we can all be proud of. We had a wonderful time sitting down and sharing dinner with such a passionate and active group.”

For more information about the Neighborhood Court program or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit https://yoloda.org/nc. You may also contact the program staff directly by e-mail at neighborhoodcourt@yolocounty.org or by phone at (530) 666-8395.

Neighborhood Court Team Receives Democracy Works Award from League of Women Voters of Woodland

Left to right: Gil Walker (NHC Volunteer), Chris Bulkeley (Supervising DDA), Melinda Daugherty (NHC Volunteer), Deanna Lynn-Steele (Social Worker Practitioner), Sue Kingscott (DDA), Jake Whitaker (Legal Process Clerk), Roz Stone (NHC Volunteer) Marshall Aaron (Paralegal), and Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig.
Not present: Nicole Francis (Paralegal), Heather Blair (Victim Advocate), and Jennifer Davis (DDA).

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