The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is looking for community safety panelists to help survivors of crime recover from the trauma they have experienced.
“Victims of crime are often the last ones to receive help in terms of counseling and other resources,” district attorney Diana Becton said in a statement. “California spends around $50 billion a year on law enforcement, prisons, and county jails. However, for victim-centered services and programs, the state only spends around $100 million.”
The Neighborhood Restorative Partnership (NRP) is a community-based program that prioritizes victims. Its goal is to help victims heal and rebuild their lives after suffering from the effects of crime.
NRP was initiated by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office as a program that goes beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to crime.
NRP addresses low-level misdemeanors, such as vandalism, alcohol control violations, and other quality of life crimes by partnering with members of the community as safety panelists chosen through an application and screening process.
Panelists receive training at the DA’s office, then are empowered with the authority to mediate certain types of misdemeanor offenses.
Safety panelist Susan Hildreth said in a statement the NRP program “is a great opportunity for community members to work together in a safe, open and confidential setting, to achieve positive outcomes for victims, participants, and the community.”
Contra Costa residents interested in becoming a community safety panelist can find the application online. Completed applications can be submitted by email, or mailed to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, Attn.: Janet Era, Neighborhood Restorative Partnership, 900 Ward Street, 2nd Floor, Martinez, CA 94553.