Inspire Article

West Tampa uses N.A.B. as a solution to Youth Crime

02.23.2010
Posted by Emily Small of People Engaged in Active Community Efforts (PEACE)

A Number of communities have successfully used Neighborhood Accountability Boards (NABs) to handle youth crime and drastically reduce the "repeat" rate of these crimes. West Tampa for instance has been using a NAB to deal with youth crime effectively for over a year.

Neighborhood Accountability Boards (NABs) are a program of Restorative Justice (see our related post on Restorative Justice) that seeks to engage a youthful offender, the victim of their crime, and the members of the community in a dialogue around the crime, and what needs to be done to repair the harm that crime caused. 

They utilize the "conferencing" model - by which a trained facilitator brings together the offender and their parents / guardians, the victim and their supporters, and several community members for a conference.  The offender says what they did, followed by the victim and the community members sharing what the impact of the offender's actions were on them.  The entire group decides upon the "obligation" - or what the youth offender must do to fix what s/he has done. 

Where implemented successfully throughout the state and beyond, these NABs boast very little recidivism rates (rates of how often a youth re-commits a crime) - sometimes as low as 5%.