Neighborhood Accountability Board
What is a Neighborhood Accountability Board (NAB)? How do they work? Here are some answers about the NAB process.
Shoplifters may now meet with a Neighborhood Accountability Board (NAB). This is a panel of trained local volunteers. They listen to what happened and discuss with the offender the harm caused. Finally, the whole group – including the offender – determines how to make things right.
Neighborhood Accountability Boards focus, first, on harm done to the community by the person’s wrong-doing. Then the group considers how that harm can be addressed, what strengths and skills the person has, and how the person can use those strengths or skills to regain a trusted place in the community.
Offenders acknowledge their part in the offense and have the chance to tell what happened, what led up to the incident, and what was going through their mind. They must consider the victim of their actions, why that victim was chosen, and what the impact has been on the victim’s life. This allows the person to take responsibility and voice regret for the harm that was caused.
The person is reminded that participation is voluntary. They can leave at any time. Leaving the meeting, however, means the case goes back to court.
When the offender is a juvenile, their parents attend NAB meetings as well. They can explain how their own lives have been affected and how they reacted when they heard about the incident.
For people who have shoplifted, a meeting with the Neighborhood Accountability Board is a powerful force that court is unable to offer. The person (with their parents, if applicable) and NAB will develop a contract, lasting no more than six months, for the person to repair the harm. By making the offender’s harmful actions personal, solving problems directly, and supporting the person’s efforts to change their behavior, Neighborhood Accountability Boards can better meet the needs of our community.
NAB Brochure (click to download)