The OPDA’s Restorative Justice unit takes a cutting-edge approach to resolving certain criminal cases through mediation efforts. Cases are subjected to this approach only when requested by both the crime victim and the offender, and when approved by the District Attorney and First Assistant.
The principles of restorative justice include establishing accountability from criminal defendants for the harm they have caused, taking collaborative action to repair that harm to the fullest extent possible, and ultimately restoring a reformed defendant to the community.
The OPDA established a Restorative Justice unit in 2017, in an effort to move select cases more efficiently through the criminal justice system. Defense attorneys with remorseful and willing clients can petition the OPDA to screen the case for possible resolution through this method.
If all parties agree, the OPDA and other necessary authorities may facilitate mediation efforts between crime victims and offenders. The mediation effort aims to reach a punitive and/or restitution agreement that satisfies both directly involved parties, while maintaining public safety for the community at large.