What is Neighborhood Court?
Neighborhood Court (NHC) is an adult criminal diversion program. NHC uses the principles of restorative justice to resolve offenses outside of the traditional court room. Participants meet in a relaxed setting to discuss their conduct with members of the local community panelists in what is called a conference. The conference is designed to hold participants accountable by helping them recognize the harms caused by their conduct. Then the panelists, participant, and victim (when present), can come up with a collaborative solution designed to address those harms in a way that is restorative rather than punitive. Neighborhood Court’s volunteers help victims, participants, and their communities to move forward in a positive direction.
How It Works
Neighborhood Court (NHC) was initiated by the Yolo County District Attorney in 2013. The purpose of this program is to address criminal violations that impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods. It is a collaborative effort between the cities of Davis, West Sacramento, and Woodland, along with UC Davis, local police departments, and Cache Creek Casino. The program is also working on expanding to the city of Winters in the near future.
NHC is the core program in the Yolo County District Attorney’s restorative justice diversion suite, which also includes NHC Full Service Partners (FSP) and the Steps to Success (S2S) program. NHC-FSP and S2S utilize a similar conference model to provide restorative resolutions to criminal justice involved individuals with contributing mental health and/or addiction issues.
NHC volunteer panelists represent the community's needs, interests, and perspectives with respect to the crime committed. Volunteers meet directly with the offender in a face-to-face facilitated conference. They serve to help participants reconnect and engage positively with the community. During the conference, volunteers 1) name the harms the community experiences as a result of the crime, 2) ask questions of the offender to understand the circumstances around the crime, and 3) decide together with the offender the steps that are necessary to make things right (as much as possible). This face-to-face dialogue is designed to encourage accountability on the part of the offender and remedy the situation as fully as possible.
Join the NHC Volunteer Team
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office is always seeking community volunteers to serve as panelists and facilitators in restorative conferences. The NHC panelist training course is a prerequisite for service in any of the DA’s restorative programming options. Submit a volunteer application today! Please register at My Volunteer Portal and apply. We look forward to welcoming you to the Neighborhood Court Team!
You can regularly find Neighborhood Court tabling at local colleges, universities, and community events. Students play a big role in helping to restore their communities by serving on our panels. Thanks to NHC’s minimal time commitment (one night a month from 6-9 pm!) and flexible scheduling, anyone can serve! If you’re a student and need some extracurricular activities to boost your resume, NHC might be a perfect fit!
Prospective volunteers must complete both the Panelist Training and Mock Conference Training sessions. Training is held annually in Davis, West Sacramento, and Woodland in the Spring and Fall. Volunteers must also complete a background check and observe a conference in order to serve as panelists.
Spring 2019 Training Dates
Saturday, April 27th, 8:45am - 5pm
Davis Police Department, Community Rm ~ 2600 5th St.
Email: email@example.com |Phone: 530-666-8378 |Cost:Free |Registration Deadline: Continuous
The 4 Pillars of Neighborhood Court
Neighborhood Court strengthens neighborhoods impacted by criminal activity in four ways...
Restore Victim Neighborhood Court is victim centered by placing emphasis on the victim’s needs. It focuses on offenders making things right to the greatest extent possible with their victims. Offenders pay restitution to victims who have suffered monetary losses or property damage.
Restore Community Neighborhood Court creates an atmosphere of inclusion and responsibility by providing a direct role for residents to oversee the resolution of offenses in their city. When appropriate the offender can complete community service aimed at improving conditions in the area impacted by the crime.
Restore Offender Neighborhood Court offers offenders a second chance by avoiding a criminal conviction on their record upon successful completion of the program. Offenders are also restored by recognizing and addressing the causes and effects of their actions. This recognition allows for true restoration and connection to beneficial community resources that can improve overall quality of life.
Educate Offender Neighborhood Court educates offenders by helping them understand why they committed the offense which led to their current situation. Offenders learn about anger management, decision making, the dangers of substance misuse, and other topics designed to change or modify their behavior.
Neighborhood Court does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and/or age.
DA's Office Releases Four-Year Report on Neighborhood Court Program and Comprehensive 2017 Recidivism Study
To read the entire Four-Year Report click on the following link: NHC Four-Year Report To read the entire Recidivism Study click on the following link: NHC Program Recidivism Study
Download Printable Brochure Download Neighborhood Court Panelist Application Download Neighborhood Court Facilitator Application Description of the Facilitator's Duties and Qualifications Description of Panelist's Duties and Qualifications Frequently Asked Questions Menu of Options (UPDATED 1/1/2019) NHC Qualifying Offenses NHC eligibility criteria Participant Rights Neighborhood Court Research Paper Restorative Justice Defined 2014 Neighborhood Court Year End Report
2013 DCTV Interview
All downloads are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Please click here to get the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
For More Information:
If you would like additional information about Neighborhood Court, please call (530) 666-8378, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.