Lance Kelley, the Court Diversion probation officer who oversees conferences between offenders and victims, said they are a key part to the success of the program.
“Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are held responsible for their actions and try to repair the harm they've done by apologizing, returning stolen money, or performing community service,” he said.
Among the successes of the past 15 years are:
- Victims reporting a high satisfaction with the process;
- More than 1,500 successful conferences;
- More than 35,000 hours of community service work ordered and completed at an estimated cost-savings of more than $735,000 to the county; and
- More than $50,000 in restitution ordered and received.