Restorative Justice Panels

Restorative Justice Panels are trained volunteers that help identify who was harmed, how to repair the harm and how to make better choices in the future.  Staff meet with both responsible parties and those affected to share information about what they can expect.  The panel of three to five trained volunteers meet with all of those involved and  discuss the impact and how amends can be made to those harmed. An agreement is completed that summarizes this discussions and those responsible have a limited time (average 3 months) to complete the agreed upon activities.  Both the Direct Referrals Alternatives and Reparative Probation  programs use justice panels.

• Direct Referral Alternatives: In this program, police and community organizations can refer someone to the justice program rather than citing them to court. This is a way to avoid criminal charges and civil court as well as an alternative to deal with school infractions.

• Reparative Probation: A judge sentences offenders to Reparative Probation for non violent crimes.  To complete supervision with the Department of Corrections, a person needs to finish Reparative Probation successfully.

Participant Expectations
The following information is for those who are thinking about or have chosen to take responsibility for the harm they have caused others to attend either a Reparative or Direct Referral panel.
Restorative Justice Panels are on opportunity to
•  Deal with Your Offense Responsibly
•  Be Accountable in a Safe, Respectful Way
• Commit to a Fair and Reasonable resolution

 Restorative Justice Panels are used for reparative probation and direct referral alternatives.
• Panel members are volunteers who live in and around the town where the offense was committed,

• They can tell you how they were affected by your behavior,

• They represent others harmed, such as the town,

• They are responsible for working with you on an agreement to make things better for those affected,

• They have copies of the police report,

• The meeting may be open to the public and not confidential. 

Steps at a Restorative Justice Panel Meeting
• The panel will try to learn more about you and how you fee
• Panel members are not there to retry anyone, but to identify who was harmed and in what ways.
• The panel will ask you if you are ready to accept responsibility for the harm.
• You, the panel members, and those affected work together to complete a written agreement that addresses the harm.
• You may meet monthly with the Board until you complete your agreement.

Meeting the needs of those affected is the first priority of restorative justice. Some ways to figure out harm is to:
• Make a list of the physical, financial, and/or emotional impact on each person affected. 
• Ask those affected, if appropriate. The panel represents your neighbors.
• Remember that victims are contacted and invited to attend.


• Come to the meeting ready to explore ways you can make things right for those you affected.
• Invite a support person, if you wish.
• Understand what you have agreed to and when it needs to be done.
• Be sure you can fully complete the agreement before you sign it.
• If you do not complete your agreement, your case may be sent to the courts.
• Be on time to your meetings.
• If an emergency comes up that prevents you from attending your meetings, call us at 249-8554.