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Restorative and Criminal Justice Issues for Lobby Day – 2/21/2011

Restorative Justice.  Restorative justice brings together all the people affected by a particular offense to provide an opportunity for the offender to accept responsibility, acknowledge the harm done, and for all to come to agreement about how to best make right any wrongs.

HB 1775/SB 5706: Encouraging juvenile restorative justice programs.  The bill provides agencies the option of referring cases to restorative justice programs as part of counsel and release for juveniles with no priors and charged with non-violent offenses involving less than $50.  Extensive evaluations document the effectiveness of restorative justice programs, resultingin reduced recidivism, reduced fear and anger reported by victims, and families supported and strengthened.  Identical bills (prime sponsored by Rep. Goodman and Sen. Harper) have been approved by both House and Senate Committees.  Referred to Rules Committee in the House and likely to Senate Rules in the Senate.

Sentencing Reform.  Makes it possible for offenders to redeem themselves and reintegrate into society; eliminates death penalty.

SB 5236: Review of 3-strikers with no conviction more severe than Robbery 2 (prime sponsored by Sen. Kline).  Approved by Judiciary Committee 2/18.  Should be referred to the Senate Rules Committee.

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