View Amendment Current Amendment: 1 to Bill 3055 The Committee on Judiciary proposes the following Amendment No. 1 to H. 3055 (COUNCIL\WAB\3055C001.AGM.WAB17):

Reference is to the bill as introduced.

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by deleting all after the enacting words and inserting:

/ SECTION      1.      (A)(1)      There is created a study committee that must be known as the Restorative Justice Study Committee to review the juvenile justice laws of the State and:
           (a)      make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning proposed changes to facilitate and encourage diversion of juveniles from the juvenile justice system to restorative justice practices:
           (i)            to provide data to assess the efficacy of restorative justice to reduce recidivism, to assist in repairing the harm caused to victims and the community, increase victim, offender, and community member satisfaction, and reduce cost; and to promote the restorative justice principles of reconciliation, responsibility, reintegration, respect, relationship-building, and restitution; and
           (ii)      when diversion may prevent juveniles from committing additional criminal acts, restore victims of crime, facilitate the juveniles' ability to pay restitution to victims of crime, and reduce the number of cases in the juvenile justice system. Restorative justice should ensure accountability while allowing juveniles to avoid the collateral consequences associated with criminal charges and convictions; and
           (b)      provide recommendations concerning the creation of a pilot restorative justice program. At a minimum, this pilot program must require the circuit solicitor, prior to filing charges, to assess if the juvenile is suitable for participation in the restorative justice pilot program, and if the assessment determines the juvenile is suitable, the circuit solicitor, after consultation with the victim, may offer the juvenile prefiling diversion to a program using restorative justice practices. If the juvenile accepts participation in the program using restorative justice practices, the circuit solicitor shall not file the petition. The circuit solicitor shall place the juvenile in a diversion program using restorative justice practices, and the juvenile shall pay a fee that may be reduced on sliding scale based on income consistent with guidelines used to determine eligibility for appointment of counsel. If the juvenile successfully completes the program, the circuit solicitor shall not file a petition against the juvenile for the alleged crimes that led to participation in the program. If the juvenile is charged with a new offense while in the program or does not successfully complete the program using restorative justice practices, the circuit solicitor may initiate a petition against the juvenile and shall proceed as authorized in this article. Any statements made during the conference are confidential and may not be used as a basis for charging or prosecuting the defendant unless the defendant commits a chargeable offense during the conference. Each participant in the restorative justice program shall complete the uniform restorative justice satisfaction evaluation. Fees collected pursuant to the pilot program must be credited to a separate fund in the State Treasury styled the 'Restorative Justice Account', and the earnings on this account must be credited to it. Restorative Justice Account proceeds only may be used for the pilot program and restorative justice measures for juveniles as the General Assembly provides by law.
           (2)      For the purposes of the Restorative Justice Study Committee, 'restorative justice practices' means practices that emphasize repairing the harm caused to victims and the community by offenses. Restorative justice practices include victim initiated victim-offender conferences, family group conferences, circles, community conferences, and other similar victim-centered practices. Restorative justice practices must be facilitated meetings attended voluntarily by the victim or victim's representatives, the victim's supporters, the offender, and the offender's supporters and may include community members. By engaging the parties to the offense in voluntary dialogue, restorative justice practices provide an opportunity for the offender to accept responsibility for the harm caused to the victim and community, promote victim healing, and enable the participants to agree on consequences to repair the harm, to the extent possible, including, but not limited to, apologies, community service, reparation, restoration, and counseling. Restorative justice practices may be used in addition to any other conditions, consequences, or sentences imposed by the court. Restorative justice practices include, but must be not limited to, victim-offender conferences, family group conferences, restorative circles of accountability and support, community group conferences, solution circles, peace circles, restorative circles, and restorative mediation. These practices may benefit and include harmed parties, people who have done harm and must be willing to take responsibility, and affected family, community, and other directly impacted members.
     (B)      The study committee must be composed of five members of the Senate, appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and five members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The study committee shall review corresponding restorative justice laws in other states in order to determine whether amendments should be proposed to the state's existing laws.
     (C)      Vacancies in the membership of the study committee must be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the manner of original appointment.
     (D)      The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee shall provide appropriate staffing for the study committee.
     (E)      The study committee shall make a report of its recommendations to the General Assembly by March 1, 2018, at which time the study committee must be dissolved.

SECTION      2.       If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION      3.      This act takes effect upon approval of the Governor. /

Renumber sections to conform.
Amend title to conform.