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Chancellor, senate chair endorse Neighborhood Court for campus


By Dateline staff

A new program offering an innovative approach to restorative justice is being introduced to the UC Davis community by Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig '91.

Photo: Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig


Members of the university community who are cited by the police for minor and nonviolent criminal offenses may be offered an option to participate in Neighborhood Court. Based on an adult restorative justice program in San Francisco — one of the first of its kind in the United States — Reisig approached UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael about the possibility of employing such a program for the campus.

A body of individuals will serve as a pool of panelists for the soon-to-be-established Neighborhood Court. At hearings before this court, three to five of those individuals (representatives from the faculty, staff and students) will sit on a panel and review the case with the offender. The panelists and offender will work out a mutual agreement which will make the community whole and give the offender better insight as to the harm he or she has caused the community

“I want to thank both DA Reisig and Chief Carmichael for their fresh approach to restoring justice and in a way that dignifies both the individual and the community,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “They have spoken with student, faculty and staff groups, and we received input and feedback from all that this is a positive move in our ability to manage difficult situations.”

The new program promises confidentiality in dealing with cases. The university will offer service opportunities from both the Davis and Sacramento campuses as a way to restore the community’s feeling of justice and balance.

Professor Bruno Nachtergaele, representing the Academic Senate as its chair, said: “We enthusiastically support the creation of the Neighborhood Court. In fact, the Executive Council unanimously expressed its support for the Neighborhood Court process.

"We commend DA Reisig and Chief Carmichael and their teams who have introduced this innovative approach to our campus.”

The district attorney is planning a second Neighborhood Court for the city of Davis.

Applications for positions on the UC Davis court are now being accepted. To request an application packet, contact Deputy District Attorney Chris Bulkeley, (530) 681-6323 or neighborhoodcourt@yolocounty.org.

Read the district attorney's news release.

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