Restorative Justice Legislation Enacted

Restorative Justice Legislation Enacted

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Nebraska Legislature enacted LB595 on May 13, 2019, the restorative justice bill. LB595 expands the Office of Dispute Resolution’s statutory authority to include the provision of restorative justice services. Restorative justice, as contrasted to retributive justice, provides opportunities for those who have harmed others to offer to make amends, apologize, be accountable for the harm caused to victims of the incident. Restorative justice first and foremost is victim-sensitive, and is designed to provide an opportunity for the victim to be made whole and to feel more safe.

Prior to the passage of the 2019 legislation, the Office of Dispute Resolution had begun implementation of “Victim Youth Conferencing,” a three-year statewide restorative justice initiative serving Nebraska youth and those who have been harmed. Restorative practice research shows that recidivism is reduced when using “Victim Youth Conferencing” types of programming. LB595 sets forth new definitions of restorative justice practice, as well as provisions for enlarging the Dispute Resolution Advisory Council to include probation representatives, county attorneys, diversion program administrators, educators, law enforcement, crime victim advocates, and former participants in restorative justice programs and related fields.

For more information, contact Alisha Jimenez, J.D., Restorative Justice Program Analyst for ODR: alisha.jimenez@nebraska.gov