San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar is proud to announce her involvement with Senator Glazer, Assemblymember Eggman, and Criminal Justice Reform Advocates to Discuss a Restorative Justice Pilot Program
Inmate & Crime Victim to Talk About Experience via Live Video Feed
SACRAMENTO – Legislators, prosecutors and criminal justice reform advocates will discuss a ground-breaking Restorative Justice program created as part of the new California state budget at a press conference on Monday, July 8 at 10:30 A.M.
"Restorative Justice has shown in limited circumstances to hold promise as a way to reduce crime and give victims greater satisfaction than the traditional criminal justice system," said Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa, who authored the bill, SB 678, which formed the basis for the restorative justice budget provision. "This program will allow for an expanded test of the concept, with a rigorous review of the results. If it works as we expect, the program could be expanded statewide and would reduce prison costs while improving lives for offenders and the broader community."
Restorative Justice is an ancient concept that is now being tried again as a way for victims to play a greater role in the criminal justice process if they wish. Direct interaction with offenders has been found to give some victims more satisfaction than they receive through an impersonal and detached criminal court proceeding.
“We talk a lot about how important it is to make our justice system truly reflect rehabilitation and restoration rather than punitive consequences alone, and this proposal does just that,” said Assemblymember Susan Eggman, who co-authored SB 678. “Evidence suggests that this is worth trying on a broader scale, and I’m proud that San Joaquin County has stepped up to promote repairing harm and healing in the community.” Also at the press conference, Jose Jimenez, a survivor of crime, will share via Skype how restorative justice programs have helped her find healing. She will be joined by incarcerated individual Eric Abercrombie from San Quentin, who will talk about how participating in restorative justice programs prepare inmates for life outside of prison.
As funded in the 2019-20 budget, the pilot project will include an independent evaluation to assess the effect on victim satisfaction, criminal recidivism, and incarceration costs. These programs would put victims first and help transform those who have committed crimes to reduce our reliance on mass incarceration.