Carpenter’s bill to innovate the criminal justice system with the use of community reparations boards

Posted: April 08, 2019 | Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Senator Carpenter

AUGUSTA – On Monday, the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard a bill from Sen. Mike Carpenter, D-Houlton, that would allow the use of a community reparations board as part of the sentencing process for people who have been convicted of certain crimes.

LD 635, “An Act Related to Community Reparations Boards,” would apply to cases that receive an alternative sentencing option, which includes a deferred disposition, and grants the court the ability to send the convicted person to a community reparations board as a part of their responsibilities.

“I believe a community reparations board could be beneficial when someone receives a deferred disposition,” said Sen. Carpenter. “This gives the offender a chance to make amends and restore trust, and in turn, gives the victim and community the extra voice they need to make them feel safe again.”

The bill would offer a community reparations board as a potential opportunity for those who receive deferred dispositions, by giving offenders the chance to work with trained members of the community to ameliorate the crime or crimes they have committed.

LD 635 faces further action in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee as well as votes in the Maine House and the Senate.