For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 25, 2019
Victim-offender program boosted by $439,515 in support from nationwide source
San Rafael, CA – A new grant will allow the Marin County Probation Department to expand restorative justice services for adults and further embed the approach into the local criminal justice system. Another public benefit could be more case resolutions outside of courtrooms.
The Probation Department operates a victim-offender dialogue program that assists victims and stakeholders in identifying what they need after a crime has occurred. The process helps individuals heal and holds the people who harmed accountable by allowing them to meet their obligations in a meaningful way. The program expansion will include access to new locations in the county to facilitate restorative interactions.
The Probation Department, the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office collaborated on the grant proposal.
“There was a shared motivation to provide additional staffing for this important program so we can serve more victims who would like to participate,” Probation Chief Mike Daly said.
The current program provides diversion opportunities for individuals to resolve pending criminal cases outside the traditional criminal justice process. It is also available to those on adult-supervised probation, an option not yet accessible in most California counties.
“Eventually, we would like to provide victims and justice-involved populations restorative justice opportunities at all levels of our criminal justice system,” Program Coordinator Cindy Ayala said. “We are looking at possibly offering these services concurrently with criminal proceedings and for a wider range of offenses.”
Research shows restorative justice reduces recidivism, resulting in healthier and safer communities. It saves counties money, meets the needs of victims of crime and delivers positive outcomes for those directly affected.
In California, new legislation is expanding the role of restorative justice. Receiving this grant will allow the Probation Department to align with the recent goals set by the state and is committed to giving every victim an opportunity to participate in restorative justice if they choose.
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Michael DalyChief Probation OfficerProbation Department
3501 Civic Center Dr.Suite 259San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-6602Email: Michael DalyProbation website