(Woodland, CA) – June 12, 2015 - District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that the Yolo County Neighborhood Court program is celebrating its two-year anniversary. The Neighborhood Court program began in 2013 in the City of Davis and the University of California at Davis and has recently branched out to the cities of West Sacramento and Woodland. A celebration will be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Davis Police Department, and it will be open to the public.
Neighborhood Court is an adult criminal diversion program based on restorative justice that addresses criminal violations which impact the quality of life in the community. It offers an alternative to criminal court. Rather than charging a case for prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office refers certain low-level misdemeanors and infractions to Neighborhood Court. In Neighborhood Court, a panel of trained community volunteers participate in a facilitated conference with the offender. All conferences are confidential and participation by the offender is completely voluntary. Additionally, victims must consent to the offender participating in the program.
In 2013, Neighborhood Court held 154 conferences. In 2014, the number of conferences more than doubled to 338. Neighborhood Court continues to expand the program’s list of eligible offenses. By the end of this year, the program will also expand and begin focusing its attention on cases involving the population of homeless offenders in the county.
For Neighborhood Court to be successful, the District Attorney relies on dedicated volunteers. To date over 100 community volunteers have supported this innovative program, and more are needed. Volunteers are given the opportunity to help improve the quality of life in their city by working with fellow citizens to address harms to their community caused by the effects of crime, and working together to identify solutions to help offenders avoid repeating the same mistakes that led to their original offense. Volunteers are needed on weekday evenings, and the time commitment is very flexible.
If you are interested in volunteering for Neighborhood Court, please join the Neighborhood Court team for a special presentation on the program on Thursday, July 9, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Woodland Police Department Public Safety Room.
For more information about the Neighborhood Court program or to download a volunteer application, go to www.yoloda.org/nc. You may also contact the program directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (530) 666-8378.