Neighborhood Accountability Boards (NAB)
NAB was created with the intent of including the community and victims in crafting a response to juvenile offenses. Currently there are six active Boards in Santa Cruz County located in the following geographical areas:
- San Lorenzo/Scotts Valley
- Live Oak/Soquel
- City of Santa Cruz
- Beach Flats (Spanish speaking Board)
Since August of 1999, approximately 150 county residents have been trained as board members. Offenses typically handled by the Boards include vandalism, petty theft, and posession of alcohol or marijuana. Youth who agree to take part in the NAB process and who successfully complete the resulting accountability agreement are diverted from the formal justice system processes.
Restorative Justice Practices
The work that is accomplished through the Boards is supportive of the principals of restorative justice. Each of the participants in the Board (youthful offenders, parents, victim, victim support person, community members, and advising Probation Officer) shares the effect that the crime has had on his or her life. Directly following, the entire group draws up a plan for making things right again. Each plan is unique; although most call for some form of community service, the specific assignment relates directly to the offense, the victim's wishes, community needs, and the youth's strengths. Board members help to monitor a youth's compliance with the NABs and relationships are strengthened as the harm to the victim and the community are repaired.
If you are interested in further information, or wish to volunteer, please call our Community Developer (831) 454-3800.