Apparently the contentious issue in this bill is how it will be funded as it authorizes the “entity that provides services for the resolution of criminal disputes under this chapter” to “collect a reasonable fee set by the commissioners court from a person who received the services, not to exceed $350.”  The bill states this fee cannot be collected from the victim.

My sources tell me that ordering the offender to pay is the issue that may keep this bill from becoming a law due to concern that defendants will be forced to pay for these services, even if they have not been charged or convicted of a crime.   I find it interesting that the substance of the bill–whether to use restorative justice in criminal cases–is not the sticking point and the use of restorative justice seems to be accepted as a good idea.

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